Analyze and Improve Your Short Game with Shot Scope

Analyze and Improve Your Short Game with Shot Scope

Shot Scope Short Game Findings

Short Game is an area of the game that requires a high amount of skill and imagination. You need to be able to picture which shot is the best type of shot to play for the shot that you face. Not all shots can be played with the same chip shot with a sand wedge. Some shots are more suited to a low ‘bump and run’ type shot or some require more time in the air and less on the green.  A top tip is to select the shot that gets the ball running on the green as soon as possible. This will typically result in a better overall finishing position.

Short Game Analysis

Shot Scope data has identified something we call ‘the lob wedge addiction’. Poor short gamers pull the lob wedge 42% of the time around the green, while better players use it only 8% of the time as part of a much more even spread of club usage from 8 iron to putter. Our data clearly shows the benefits of adjusting clubs around the green rather than using the same one all the time.The data shows that poor short game players don’t use a variety of clubs around the green. Oddly, they rely on higher lofted clubs which require more skill and an exacting strike to get the ball close to the hole. They are most likely manufacturing a shot to try and get the ball close to the pin. Technique wise a ‘bump and run’ played with a less lofted club like and 8 iron is an easier shot to execute, as the technique is most similar to a simple putting stroke.

Better short game players on the other hand, use a larger selection of clubs around the green, with 48% of shots played with an 8 iron, 9 iron and PW. We know that these clubs have better margin for error than higher lofted wedges. The better short game player will select the club that gets the ball rolling on the green quicker.

The Lob Wedge Addiction

The lob wedge addiction is shown by 8 to 20 handicappers within 20 yards of the green. Why do they love it? Many golfers regard it as the ‘short game club’, having seen tour pros pull one out to get the ball checking next to the hole. People see Phil Mickleson use is 60° wedge all the time and think ‘I can do that!’ Well the reality is – you can’t.

8 to 20 handicap golfers use their lob wedge 38% of the time – yet this club, in the same handicap category, accounts for only 8% of up and downs made. Golfers will see an instant performance improvement by not using the LW as often around the green. A great concept is to use a club less than you normally would. So for instance, if you think ‘I will chip with my SW’, try using your PW instead. Your scores will thank you for it.

Bunker Play

Bunkers provide another issue when it comes to short game. Pulling the right club for your approach shot (often one more than you think) can help you avoid landing in the greenside bunkers, but on the whole you can’t avoid them completely. Shot Scope data tells us that on average you will have one or two greenside bunker shots per round. Consistently playing good shots from the sand requires a good technique and practice – poor play can cost you a lot of shots very quickly.

For higher handicap golfers, the goal should be to simply get the ball out and on the green every time; playing for the middle section of the green will increase your margin for error.

Short Game is an area of the game that is more complex than many golfers believe it to be. The majority of golfers will use what they refer to as their ‘short game club’ and in reality, this is a poor way to approach short game. As Shot Scope identified earlier, using a range of clubs helps around the green as you rarely face the same shot twice. Different shot length, different lie, different green conditions, different slope, and different weather, all of these variables impact short game more than a standard golfer thinks. Being able to use a variety of clubs eases the complexity of a short game shot. Remember, get the ball running as soon as possible on the green.

Shot Scope captures data from all around the world. It is used globally in 52 countries. Shot Scope are the innovators of the first ever golf watch with both GPS and Performance Tracking combined in one device. Go to shotscope.com to find out more.

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