A Vital Short Game Fundamental

There is one thing you can do in your short game that will make every shot easier and better. That thing is to hold the club lightly. Maybe hold it softly.

What do I mean by “softly?” Hold the club so the handle barely compresses the soft pads of your palm and fingers, but not so softly that the club flops around when you swing it.

Stop reading, get a club and try that before you go on.

In addition, relax your arms and shoulders completely.

If you get all this right, I promise you will make good contact with the ball much more often than you do. You will be in a position where you can learn to control your short shots to an amazing degree.

You can get away with less-than-perfect contact from the tee and the fairway. But the short game requires, (demands?), precision when the club meets the ball.

When you set up for a short shot, the perfect address position of the clubhead is also its perfect impact position. The problem to be solved is how to return the clubhead to that exact spot.

If you grip the club tightly, the tension in your hands puts tension in your arms and shoulders, which shortens your arms. When you swing back, you subconsciously know something is wrong and the forward stroke is a desperate attempt to get the clubhead back where it belongs. Every so often, you get it right.

But if your hands, arms, and shoulders are completely relaxed, the length of the arm-club lever does not change.

All you need to do from there is swing back and through gracefully with an unhurried rhythm and tempo, and ideal contact is yours. It’s that simple.

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