Girls Golf: Gan an Edge with your Short Game
by Kathleen Strandberg, Girls Golf Program Coordinator
Most female golfers that play at a competitive level will know that the length of courses have been continually increasing due to the rise in competition. Through my experience in college, I found that I was an “average” length hitter, meaning I mostly had longer irons and hybrids for my approach shots. I learned the importance of short game and having several different shots to use around the green. While I practiced a variety of shots with different clubs, I also knew the importance of not letting the easy ones go on the course. I found it helpful to split up my short game practice. I would focus on shots I struggled with but also ones that I was good at and could gain confidence from.
One drill that always boosted my confidence was called “ten in a row”. With one ball, I would try and get up and down ten times in a row (different shots), all relatively simple chips. Through doing this drill, the goal was so that when I played I would always get the ball up and down from the easier spots, the ones just off the green. They are easy, simple chips, but they are the ones that we kick ourselves if we miss on the course. In addition to this drill, I found it helpful to support the more difficult shots around the green with practicing a lot of 5-10 foot putts for when I didn’t have an easy chip with a short putt for par.
With courses getting longer for girls, I think the emphasis on short game and experimenting with different shots and drills is the most effective way to keep up with the competition and be able to score on longer courses.