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Most amateur golfers struggle chipping around the greens. And even though they may have sound techniques and confidence, they find themselves with a long putt to save par. What I have noticed is that a lot of the time, the ball lands close to the hole but just keeps rolling past. This is because most golfers who struggle in the short game are focused on the WRONG thing: The Hole.

golf-ball-in-the-grass-near-the_1920x1080_33-hdIf your brain is zeroed in on the cup when you are standing over a chip shot, guess where you’re going to hit it. The idea of focusing on the target is all well and good when you are putting or hitting a long iron to the flag, but when you are green-side, focusing on the hole is a sucker’s bet.

I’ve mentioned in the past that the key to short game success is knowing how the ball will react when it lands on the green (See Ball Control). This may mean taking an extra 20 Seconds to get behind your ball and actually read the green. Pick a point where that ball needs to land so that it settles near the hole. If you don’t know, just guess (it won’t be that far off and maybe error on the side of caution). Once you have that landing area, that’s your target. Set up to it, aim at it, and focus your attention on that spot and not so much the hole. 

Nothing is worse than blowing a shot way past the hole.

PRACTICAL PRACTICE- When you work on your short game, throw a towel or something else on the green to aim at. Practice on landing the ball just short and then just long of it. Distance Control is much more important than most golfers give it credit for. Direction is glamourous, but distance will put the ball near the hole.