There is a right way to teach yourself how to hit a new short game shot. Go through this sequence and the shot will work for you.
1. Learn to make consistent contact. The shot will behave the way you want it to only if you hit it the same way every time. It might take hundreds of tries before you become consistent with how you strike the ball. It’s worth the effort.
2. Learn to hit the shot where you’re aiming it. To get the ball close to the hole, you have to hit it straight and the right distance. Straight is easier, so start there. Again, hundreds of balls won’t be to many.
3. Learn to hit the shot the right distance. This one takes time and thought. One way to start is to get a standard-length stroke and play that stroke with different clubs, seeing what distance you get with each one. Another way is to use just a few clubs and learn how to finesse each one to the right distance. A combination of the two isn’t a bad idea, either.
You might want to start with your bread and butter short shots, the greenside chip and the standard pitch (from 50-100 yards). You can always hit them better than you’re doing now.
When you pick up a new specialty shot, go through this sequence to master it. Hitting it sort of well isn’t what I want you to do. Get good!
I once heard that Lorena Ochoa would practice a new shot for about six months before she used it in a tournament. That’s good advice for all of us.
This tip was extracted from my first book, Better Recreational Golf. There’s lots more stuff just like this in there. Believe me, I won’t be disappointed if you buy your own copy. Neither will you.