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Like most amateurs, the biggest area I could save strokes is with my short game. I shot a 73 last week where I got up and down 1 out of 4 times. That’s a 70 if I had a short game. I’ve gagged away thousands of shots with mediocre short game plays.

My friend and local pro, called today because he had some down time this afternoon. He and I play our grudge match several days a week. Some days he beats me and some days I beat him. There’s probably nobody more qualified to help me out, since he’s watched my short game in action and under pressure. By pressure, I mean when there’s a $1 skin on the line. That is pressure.

I had a good hour long lesson. My buddy knew what I needed to work on and helped me out with what he called “positional” short game. We adjusted my alignment, posture, swing plane and especially my grip. I’d been choking way down on my chips. No matter what I tried, I hit all my chips on the toe. Little did I know that being choked down like that was causing the toe shots. Other adjustments, when I properly implemented them, worked very well. We worked for practically the whole hour without ever moving the ball from the basic position, on my right foot.

I have a few keys to work on: grip, ball position, bringing the club back inside and perhaps most importantly, quiet upper body. If I get all of those working, my chips are dead on line and perfect distance. If I get all those working, rounds in the 60’s are coming. I can feel it.

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