In the second part of our blog series, we continue to focus on improving your short game. Knowing how to improve your short game is really about knowing how to fine-tune your planning, shots, and the details of how you swing your club. Remember that, no matter how great your drive is, it is the short game that determines the outcome, and it is the element that all junior golf schools put the most focus on. These details also apply to life choices, so when things get difficult, do not be afraid to apply what you learn about your short game in golf to other areas of your life.
Set Up for the Swing
As you set up for the swing, remember that now you are aiming for the hole itself, not the area around it, unless, of course, you are too far off to reach the green. If so, pick your target spot and use these alignment tips to get there:
- Stand so that your back foot is square and firmly planted. Angle your lead foot in the direction of your target.
- Keep your shoulders straight and parallel to the target. In other words, if you are standing with your neck straight up, you should be able to turn so that your chin and left shoulder are aligned and the target is directly in your line of vision.
- Keep your forearms loose and angled so that a line drawn across them would go straight to the target.
- Lean with your head above your pants zipper and your sternum placed so that a string going from it to the ground would land just in front of the ball.
Making Direct Contact
When you make contact with the ball, you want to have full control over where it goes, more so than you would when you are driving the ball. This is all about controlling every element of your swing, not for distance, but for pinpoint accuracy. You will use various elements of your body to direct the swing so that everything you do is aimed at the specific target.
Rather than making the swing more complicated than it has to be, focus on swinging on the shaft plane. Your arms should be somewhat loose and relaxed as you do this. You are going to limit your swing as well, putting all of your force into accuracy, rather than a long drive. The clubface itself should rotate open. This is where your body simply directs the swing with every motion.
Lower Body Position
Think of your lower body as the anchor. Your feet and legs are already grounded and angled so that your efforts are directed toward the target. As you take your swing, make sure that the club is limited to swinging past the lower body, but not the upper body. When your swing is completed, the shaft should be right around the level of your bellybutton.
Upper Body Position
Your head and shoulders are already lined up to direct the shot. Now, when you swing the club, follow through with your upper body. That is to say, as you swing, your shoulders and upper body should follow the direction of the swing in order to help propel the ball in the right direction.
You can learn more about how to manipulate your body to give more direction to your swing by joining golf training programs like the one offered at International Junior Golf Academy. Contact our team today for more tips on improving your golf game.