Practicing the short game in golf can often be less exciting than hitting long drives on the range. However, finding ways to make short game practice more enjoyable can greatly benefit your overall golf game. In this article, we will explore a drill that simulates gameplay and provides a quantifiable score to track your progress. By incorporating this drill into your practice routine, you can work towards improving your short game skills and lowering your scores.

The Drill

The drill involves dropping five golf balls in various lies around the green. Your objective is to play each ball onto the green and into the hole, keeping track of your score. The goal is to lower your score each week as you continue to practice. Let’s take a closer look at each shot and the techniques involved.

Shot 1: The Tight Lie

For the first shot, we are faced with a tight lie. It’s important to avoid using too much wrist hinge in the backswing, as this can make it difficult to hit the ground in the correct place. To execute this shot, use a nine iron to keep the ball low and allow it to roll. Position the ball about two-thirds back in your stance, just behind the center. Lean your weight onto your left foot and point the butt of the grip towards your left hip. Use your shoulders to make a putting stroke and put the ball onto the green. This shot requires minimal wrist hinge and is a simple motion.

Shot 2: Uphill Lie

The second shot presents an uphill lie, where you need to carry the ball over a bunker onto the green. To tackle this shot, narrow your stance slightly. When hitting uphill, a narrower stance helps maintain balance. Turn both of your feet lightly up the hill to ensure a smooth weight shift to your left leg. This adjustment will prevent you from falling backward during the swing.

Shot 3: Bunker Shot

Now, let’s move on to the dreaded bunker shot. To improve your bunker play, try the line drill. Take your sand wedge and lightly drag a line in the sand. Straddle the line and position it about one clubhead inside of your left heel. Open the clubface slightly to align with the line. Make swings, aiming to hit on the line and pivot forward of the line. Continuously make divots along the line, ensuring you don’t hit too far behind or ahead of it. Consistently hitting the line will help you escape bunkers more effectively.


After successfully hitting all five balls onto the green, it’s time to focus on putting. Take your five putts and finalize your score. Visualize the line from the bunker drill behind the ball as you putt. By practicing this game regularly, you can significantly improve your short game and ultimately lower your scores on the course.

The "2018 Teacher Of The Year" reveals a short game technique that could shave 8 to 10 strokes off your round.



Practicing your short game is crucial for improving your overall golf performance. By incorporating drills like the one described in this article , you can make your short game practice more enjoyable and effective. The drill simulates gameplay and provides a quantifiable score to track your progress. By focusing on shots from different lies and incorporating techniques such as minimizing wrist hinge, adjusting your stance for uphill lies, and using the line drill for bunker shots, you can improve your skills and lower your scores.

Remember to visualize the line from the bunker drill when putting and aim to consistently hit the line to improve your bunker play. By regularly practicing this game, you can see significant improvements in your short game and overall golf performance.