The PGA Tour players I’m coaching are really detail-oriented guys. They can tell the difference between a wedge that has a little too much bounce or a putter that has a degree too much loft. They can detect these subtle changes because they perform consistently enough to see it in the way the bounce interacts with the turf or the way the ball rolls along the green.
Tour players can get wrapped up in what can seem like small things to the average guy. Over the years, I’ve learned that the better a golfer gets and the higher the level of competition, the more the small things can add up to be the difference between good and great. One of those small things is the ability to hit shots close from distances that fall between their full swing yardages.
As Tour players get closer to the green, hitting it close becomes a bigger priority. PGA Tour stats indicate that the No. 1 influence on a player’s chances of making a putt is how long or short it is. The 10-to-15 yard gap that exists between most player’s irons and wedges represents a 30-foot range in the distance an approach may be from the hole when it lands. Combining how far offline a shot is with how long or short it travels increases the distance from the hole and decreases the chances for making the putt.
With this in mind, I want all my players to be great at controlling their distance and direction, especially when they’re hitting shorter clubs into the green. They need to hit accurate shots to distances that fall between their full-swing yardages. In order to do that, they often have to take less than a full swing. I’ve found that a simple backswing technique allows my guys to maintain their accuracy when they are playing “off speed,” as I call it.
In the video, I show you the backswing technique I coach my guys to use to hit it close to the hole when they need to hit a partial shot.