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Where would you concentrate your practice/improvement?


I played in a 2 day amtour tournament this past weekend. Realized that my driving and putting were pretty good and didn't really fail me. I hit almost all fairways, and both rounds, my putting was under 36. Pitching and chipping saved me, which allowed me to scramble and one putt.

My playing partner was saying since his surgery, he has been healing up and has lost his consistency with his long/mid irons, so he focused on short game to try and recoup. His short game is really strong. Personally, I think I should focus on mid/long game, because I think that's where my real weakness is.

So my question is, where would you focus your practice/improvement? Mid game (long irons, second shots, approach) or short game (greenside pitching/chipping, 100yds and in)?

What do you suggest?

21 Replies

  1. Gary D

    100 yds and in is where the game is played. Add up your strokes in a round and you'll discover that over half your strokes are inside 100 yds. I spend 50% of my time on full swing practice and 50% of my time on chipping, pitching, and lag putting. Don't know why but I've never met anyone but myself that practices lag putting from long distance. Its a skill that pays benefits.
  2. Barry B

    Work on what you perceive to be a weakness, but don't stop working on your strengths also. Maybe look at a 60/40 ratio to start and adjust as required to get all parts of your game at the same level.
  3. Gabriel G

    The first thing that pops into my mind is your short game. When I reconsider the same answer comes up. Practice your short game, chipping and putting. When I play tournaments I always walk away thinking "if I could have made more putts."
  4. Chris R

    You will use your putter on every single hole, unless you hit that miracle shot. So go with the putter. Having said that it is easier to make a 3 foot putt than to make a 20 foot putt, so I practice alot on the long/mid irons. Also wedges, wedges, wedges.
  5. Speedy

    I have to agree with Gabriel. Played in tournament over the weekend and putting killed my score.. 38 putts, yeah not good and it's been like that so far this year... I need to put in more time on the putting green and chipping...
  6. Cole W

    100 yards in for sure, if you can cut down your proximity to the hole from that distance you have a better opportunity to make more puts which lead to more birdies and par saves! If you feel that you are driving and putting well thats the next logical place to spend some time.
  7. REarley

    Short game is almost always the obvious answer to improved scoring, but what exactly to focus most of your time on that varies from one player to another. For putting, I personally spend about 70% of my time on the practice green trying it improve my make % inside of 5 feet, which is where most of us amateurs will lose a lot of strokes. Agree with Gary D that lag putting is important, but even a terrible putter should be able to putt it to 5 feet. For your mid/long irons, have you ever tried playing middle/back green yardage? This is something I started doing earlier this year and it's done wonders for my GIR, especially with the 4-7 irons.

    Also, download one of the stat tracking apps like "My Golfgame Book" and keep track of your drive and putts. It give amazing stats that may shed more light on what exactly to work on to improve scoring. Cheers!
  8. Dino J

    Hi msalejandro ... I am going to be a bit of a contrarian here and suggest that you are correct about looking to improve your approach game (ie: "iron play").

    Please don't get me wrong though, you still need a good short game to fall back on when your iron play is "not up to snuff" and being the best iron player in the world is not worth very much if a player cannot consistently make putts within 10ft. or so!

    Here's the rationale behind the contrarian opinion:

    The key to scoring well means hitting more greens in regulation (GIR) and your "proximity to the hole" with your approach shots. Typically, but not always, when a player has a good round, one can often see that their GIR's have been pretty good and that they have putted reasonably well.

    The basis for this is that as a player, statistically speaking, a player is more likely to sink a 5 foot putt than a 10 foot putt. The same holds true for the 10 foot putt vs. the 20 foot putt - and so on and so forth.

    Improving your iron play so that you can hit the green more regularly and improving your proximity to the hole means that you are going to be putting from spots where you have better odds of sinking the putt or in essence "one-putting". If you two putt, then the result is "par".

    Of course, if your putting goes sour, and it sometimes does for every player sometime, then the advantage or benefit of good iron play is muted. So that is why a player must still putt reasonably well.

    But, iron play improvements become the key to improving your scores -- after all, it is not feasible to expect to build a game around 18 missed greens, but have 18 - "up and downs" to save par.

  9. Todd T

    Short game and always end with putting!
  10. Degeneral

    I think driving it in the fairway is important and working on 100 yards and in along with greenside play. I don't play a lot of courses where I need to be at the top of my game with long irons. But improving my wedge game, particularly around the green, have drastically improved my scores.
  11. Joey L

    Definitely short game(chipping, putting,100 yds in). This is where creativity turns into reality. This is where you will set yourself apart from your opponent. If you can make this the best part of your game, you will see your scores go down
  12. Darryl M

    I say short game.................................................

    I took lessons with a Master Instructor this off season to improve ball striking with my irons. IT WAS AWESOME, now my driver is suffering as I keep trying to impose my iron backswing into the drivers swings. Now it's right side miss, left side miss. I used to miss right 37% of the time & 16% left. Now it's almost even & now I miss most fairways (down from 44% to 27%) My short game is solid my putts are at 29.6 a round I can get up & down 43% of the time so short game is good.

    My DRIVING IS TERRIBLE and today I went & hit 100 chips & putted them all out and plan on working on short game later this week.. I only hit 14 drives a round, but scoring shots are the majority of your shots.

    Putting & chipping are the ones that save the round from disaster most of the time.

    In my opinion though.
  13. Jack H

    I personally believe that hitting GIRs is the easiest recipe for low scores. However, iron play tends to be a weakness in my game as well. It is far and away the one thing I would like to improve this year. That being said, if you don't have a quality short game, then your scores will suffer. I personally divide my practice into three parts(range time, putting and chipping). I usually try to keep short game at 50% of my total time and range the other 50%. Of the short game time, I try to spend 60% putting and 40% chipping. That seems to work best for me. If you can focus on getting your irons under control and mind your misses, coupled with a solid short game, you will be in terrific shape for the season. Hope this helps! Enjoy your season!
  14. Chuck Z

    Definitely short, game inside 100 yards. Those 70 yard shots have been killing me. Putting could use a little tuning. Think bottom of cup and listen for it to go in.
  15. Amanda S

    Having a feel around the green. I chip it too far or not far enough and putting well that needs a miracle.
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