The short game can be the most critical part of a golfer's game. Club selection is the first part that should be thought through. As you approach a green you will need to decide the best method with which to play the shot. I try and teach my students two basic shots, the bump and run, and the pitch shot.
The bump and run shot consists of taking a less lofted iron such as the 7, 6, or 5 iron and using a stroke very similar to a putting stroke. This shot is used when you are fairly close to the green with level terrain between you and the pin. The shoulders with minimal wrist action should rotate the club. The feet should be close together with the eyes almost over the ball. This achieves a more pendulum swing versus a flat swing. The goal is to sweep through the ball with the follow through extended to the target. The ball should hit at close to the half way point to the pin then roll the rest of the way.
The other shot is the pitch shot which involves a more lofted club such as a sand or pitching wedge. This shot is helpful if you need to get over a sand trap or if the ground is uneven to the pin. Again the rotation should come from the shoulders but this shot will involve some wrist action. The key is for your follow through to finish at the hole. The distance the ball should be dropped is dependent upon the club you select. The more lofted club the less roll you will achieve.
The important aspect about developing a good short game is to practice the different types of shots and get a feel for each of them. Half the game is having the confidence to play the type of shot you need.
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