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If you’re hoping to lower your golf score in 2020 and reach new personal bests, one of the first areas to improve for any level of golfer is the short game. If you ask the golf coaches at the Calabasas Golf Academy, they’ll tell you it’s among the lowest hanging fruit for most players. Virtually every student we’ve worked with could stand to gain by improving their short game. So why aren’t they?

Most golfers neglect to practice their short game at all. This happens for a few reasons. Either the player is frustrated at the results they’ve seen from practicing in the past, they don’t accurately comprehend how their short game performance is affecting their score, or they feel their practice time is limited and would rather be at the range. After all, it’s sometimes more exciting to whale on a driver than it is to hit greenside chip shots.

In the case that a player is frustrated with their ability, their tendency to avoid practice is completely understandable. Without the knowledge of how to set up with the right stance and posture, which club to use, how your hands, wrists, and arms should work, why bother spending time guessing?

The staff at the Calabasas Golf Academy has taught thousands of players who shoot 90 or more. On a typical par 4, they hit an average drive, they then attempt reaching the green, but after their second or third shot are typically not yet on the green surface and are faced with a chip or pitch shot. This is the reality on most holes for golfers with a handicap over 15. Many golfers squander an additional shot, sometimes out of frustration, leaving the ball right in front of them or sending it screaming over the green because they mishit the ball. This begets more mistakes and can carry over to mistakes on the green putting as well. What these players have yet to learn is that a solid short game can relieve the stress of a less than tour level long game. If a golfer believes they will chip the ball well enough to have a chance at making the next putt, their confidence builds. That belief not only helps them execute the shot and chip it closer, but it also helps them relax when hitting the approach shot. When the pressure of hitting the green is relieved, they often begin to hit better approach shots because they’re more relaxed about the outcome.

Many of the students that our golf professionals teach are limited on time they dedicate to golf. Whether it be work, family, or other interests, some golfers are simply not going to prioritize golf over these other facets of life. Fortunately, improving short game does not take hours upon hours of dedication weekly. In fact, most students are surprised by how much improvement they can make by allocating 10-15 minutes a few times per week. The important factor is that they spend their time wisely, working on specific elements.

Whether you are interested in one of our short game schools or individual instruction at Calabasas Country Club, our dedicated teaching staff is here to support you and help you reach your golfing goals.If you want to make a commitment to your game in 2020, call today to learn more about club membership and the fantastic practice facilities that come with it- the full length grass driving range, the Dave Pelz Short Game Area, the two putting greens, and the indoor TrackMan Simulator. Find out why Calabasas Country Club is one of the best training grounds in Southern California to improve your game.

David Franks Golf | David Franks, PGA