Turn Your Short Game Into Clockwork

An incredible short game is what separates most of us players from becoming professionals. Pros spend the time it takes to perfect the shots that help lower their score the most… shots within 100 yards.They also have a little more than just muscle memory on their side for those shots in between clubs. I’ll let you in on their secret…

This classic clock image has been used over and over in golf instruction to help players get a better feel for their half-shots. Sure, you’ve worked on your half-shots before, but how many of you know how far your 9:00 lob wedge flies? Or how about an eight iron to 8:00? If you really want to take your short game to the next level, chart your short game; and take it a step beyond just “feel”.

Fix Shortgame short game golf

Head to driving range with a pen and paper and a whole lot of balls. Start with your lob wedge, take swings from 7:00 to 11:00 and chart the average carry and roll of each. Also manipulate your ball position. Work upwards in your bag until you reach your six or seven iron. The most important factor when working with this drill is keeping a steady accelerating tempo. If you rush your downswing to the ball, your distances will be out of whack. Through this technique your short game will become much more automatic. Seventy yard shots under trees, thirty yard shots over trees and bump and run’s to back pins suddenly become an issue of how close, rather than simply how.

Take your time on this one guys and take your game to the next level. (no pun intended)



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  1. Hi Stuart – there is no set “follow-through” length. Generally, it’s whatever feels comfortable. Shorter follow-throughs are okay if you’re hitting knock downs, but too short and you can actually decelerate into impact (which is no good). I’d say that the same length as the backswing or longer on the follow-through is ideal. If you’re doing shorter shots (7-8 o’clock) though, like 10-15 yards (which means you’re basically chipping) I’d try to resist your wrists rotation on the follow-through. I hope that helps.

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