Golf Short Game Drills

Welcome to Foy Golf Academy where we help you improve at golf with practice templates to follow, step by step golf drills, and our best golf tips. In today’s golf article we are covering the best golf short game drills.

When finished reading, we have golf practice plans you can grab at the end to follow with drills and daily instructions of what to practice each week for fast improvement!

17 Best Short Game Drills for Golf Practice

#1: Hula Hoop Ladder Drill

Distance plays a crucial role in the pitch shot. If you need to play well, learning how to hit each wedge at different distances is necessary. The hula hoop ladder drill helps you work your wedges backward and forward with consistency.

How to Do the Hula Hoop Ladder Drill:

  • Place three to four hula hoops at different distances in front of you. You can start with forty, fifty, and sixty yards.
  • Grab your regular wedge and start by hitting a shot in the nearest hoop, then the further one, and finally, the last hoop.
  • If you miss one, start the drill over.
  • Here, the goal is to practice consistently hitting with each wedge at 3 different distances. So, take some time to change clubs and distances with this drill.

#2: Extended Shaft Drill

The problem with most golfers is that when they hit pitch shots, they use too much wrist. It causes the golf ball to fly in the air and makes it the worst shot. The drill helps you to keep your wrist fairly straight and stable so you can hit a better shot while keeping the ball under control.

How to Do Extended Shaft Drill:

  • Get an alignment pole. You can also use an old shaft or a snow pole.
  • Stick it to the end of the grip so it acts as an extended shaft.
  • It will indeed extend past the front part of your body at the address.
  • Now, hit some strokes.
  • If your wrists remain straight through impact, surely, you’ll hit some perfect pitches.
  • If your wrists remain bent, then the pole will hit the front side after the stroke or impact.

#3: One-Handed Shot Drill

The one-handed shot drill allows you not to decelerate your chip shot, resulting in improved spin, contact, and control. It will also help you to practice the right tempo through impact.

How to Do a One-Handed Shot Drill:

  • Place the ball on the green and take your stance.
  • Hold the club with the lead hand.
  • Now, hit some regular chip shots with that hand.
  • Make sure not to hold the grip too tightly and try to relax your hand.

You can shift hands after hitting some good shots.

#4: Crisp Contact Drill

The drill is perfect for giving the proper elevation to the ball with a backspin by making solid contact. The backspin allows you to stop the ball quickly after it lands on the green. On the other hand, the height makes the ball travel through the obstacles to the cup.

How to Do Crisp Contact Drill:

  • Place several golf tees in a horizontal line with a few golf balls on the practice green area or the driving range.
  • Now, put the tee into the ground right in front of the ball.
  • The goal is to hit the golf ball first and the tee second.
  • When you hit a shot, you should hear a clicking noise after the stroke or impact.
  • Keep your focus on the tee during the swing, as it causes your body weight to shift slightly forward. It helps to improve the contact with the ball on each pitch.

Read: Best Chipping Drills to Master the Chip Shot

#5: Line in The Sand Drill

It’s a bunker drill that helps you get the golf ball to fly at the right distance. The drill can be difficult for a few players because each bunker has a different amount of sand or depth. It makes it hard for them to get to the proper position. There is no need to worry as you’ll feel good after practicing the drill:

How to Do the Line in The Sand Drill:

  • First, look for the practice bunker, and draw a horizontal line with your club in the sand.
  • Place a couple of balls an inch or two in front and parallel to the line.
  • Now, practice some shots and have your golf club go into the sand right on the line drawn.
  • Once you finish practicing by taking all the balls on the line, clean the surface and create a new line with less or more sand than the previous line.
  • After taking some shots, you’ll get an idea of how much sand to take based on its thickness.

Resource: How to Score in the 70’s Golf Training Plan

#6: One Club, Two Distances

The ultimate goal of the drill is to make it natural for you to measure the pin distance from your location within 100 yards.

How to Do One Club, Two Distances Drill:

  • Start the drill at 125 yards, and hit a golf ball to the designed target.
  • Now, move your position to 115 yards, and hit the ball to the same target with the same club.
  • Move forward to 105 yards, and hit the ball with a different club.
  • Move to 95 yards and make a shot with the same golf club used in 105 yards.
  • Now, move to eighty-five yards and hit the ball with a different club.
  • Finish the drill by moving to 75 yards and hitting a shot with the same club used in 85.
  • You can experiment with changing the golf ball position for controlling distance or using swing length and tempo.

Read: Best Golf Swing Takeaway Drills

#7: Distance Control Drill

Controlling distance in chipping is significant when compared to others because you’re hoping for a bit of a nice roll. You can maintain the distance with your club selection and the length of your swing.

How to Do Distance Control Drill:

  • Set up 3 targets, all at different locations on the green. These must be short, medium, and long distances.
  • Now, pick all the clubs you like to chip with. Grabbing a long, mid, and short iron will be good.
  • Address your regular chipping position, and take a short backswing.
  • Make sure that the clubhead only reaches the ankle height during the backswing and follow-through.
  • Chip at least 5-10 balls at the three designed targets.
  • Now, repeat it by taking the head back to the knee height during the backswing and follow-through.
  • Repeat the process once more at hip height.
  • Now, do it with the other two clubs, and make sure to note the distance and height so you can hit the chip shot at the right distance with a good roll.

#8: Front Foot Drill

It is one of the best short game drills that let you adjust your weight through impact, so you don’t hit a chucked or skulled chip shot.

How to Do Front Foot Drill:

  • Take your trail foot back and lift it, or you can rest it, but on your toe only.
  • It will shift most of your weight on the lead or front foot.
  • Now, hit some regular practice shots on the green.
  • Keep your focus on hitting down the golf ball and through the surface/ground.

#9: Aim The V

Aim the V is another bunker drill that helps you maintain a correct body position through the swing. When hitting a bunker shot, keep your feet open and make them point way left of the planned target (right-hand player). The face of the club is also open, facing the opposite direction of the feet. 

How to Do Aim the V Drill:

  • Draw a horizontal line with your club in the sand.
  • Draw another line in the position of your clubface. It will create a visual V that helps to visualize where your body’s different parts are facing.
  • Now, draw a line wherever the golf ball flies at hitting a shot.
  • So, you’ll have a ball flight line, clubface line, and feet line.
  • These three lines will help you hit the golf ball where you want it to go.

Resource: Step by Step Golf Practice Routines + Training System

#10: In The Bucket

In the bucket is one of the best short game drills that allows you to aim correctly. Landing the ball on the target is not so easy in a flop shot drill. Follow the steps to improve your aiming skills:

How to Do In the Bucket Drill:

  • Get a few 5-gallon buckets and place them in different areas around the green.
  • Now, hit some flop shots, and try to get the ball to land in every bucket.
  • If you miss one, start from the beginning.

#11: Over The Cart

It’s another flop shot drill, and you’ll have fun doing it. In this drill, it is not at all necessary to use the golf cart. Instead, you can use a big box or any object that has a good height.

The drill teaches you how fast you can stop the golf ball on the green and how high and how quickly you can get it in the sky.

How to Do Over the Cart Drill:

  • Park a cart or place an object in between you and the designed target on the green.
  • Hold your most lofted golf club and a couple of balls.
  • Now, try to hit the golf ball over the object or the golf cart and onto the designed target.
  • Adjust your position until you feel comfortable hitting over the object.
  • Practice the drill so that you can manipulate the golf ball over any obstacle.

#12: Par 18 Game

The Par 18 game is a perfect way to improve your chipping skills. You can do the drill in a fun time with a friend or compete against yourself. It also helps you to shoot lower scores around the green.

How to Do the Par 18 Drill:

  • Place nine golf balls off the green in different angles and positions.
  • Start hitting the ball, and try to get it into the hole with not more than 2 strokes.
  • Your goal is to hit great chips and finish the game in 18 shots by putting every ball in the hole.

#13: 3-2-1 Chip In Drill

The drill helps to practice more chip shots and improves accuracy and distance control.

How to Do 3-2-1 Chip in Drill:

  • Place three golf balls away from the practice green (almost 4-10 yards).
  • Now, pick a hole and chip each golf ball into the cup.
  • Remove the ball from the hole once you chip it till you’re down to only one golf ball.
  • If you chip all the golf balls at once, you’ve completed the drill.
  • If you miss one, start the process again.
  • You’ve to move to different holes and distances each time you finish the drill to hone your skills.

#14: Around The World Drill

It’s a great drill to hone your short-range putts. Practicing the drill will help you lower your scores and improve your consistency over time.

How to Do Around the World Drill:

  • Place six golf balls 3-8 ft away in a ring around the cup.
  • Here, the goal is to sink the putt in one time.
  • Start by putting each ball into the cup.
  • You have to consequently putt every ball without missing or start the drill over.
  • Increase the distance gradually when you master one.

Read Article: Best Putting Drills to Add to Practice Routine

#15: 15 Points Chipping Game

This is a fun chipping game that helps you to practice chips at different distances.

How to Play 15 Points Chipping Game:

  • Grab five golf balls.
  • Choose a spot on the green to chip from. Select 3 holes that would be easy, intermediate, and hard to chip to.
  • Now, chip each golf ball to the easy target and record how many are close to the hole (must be within 5 feet).
  • Every ball that landed within 5ft scores a point.
  • Repeat the same for medium and hard difficulty areas, and keep tracking your score.
  • At last, add up all your chips and see your score out of 15. If it is ten or above, you’re doing great.

#16: 300 Putt Challenge

It’s a high-volume repetition drill that improves your putting skills from short-range (around 5-7 ft).

How to Do 300 Putt Challenge:

  • Day 1, make 100 putts from three different distances (2,3 and 4feet) away from the hole.
  • Day 2, make 100 putts from 3, 4, and 5ft.
  • Day 3, make 100 putts from 4, 5, and 6 ft.
  • You can continue the drill until you can make 100 putts from 8, 9, and 10 ft.

#17: Beat The Previous Chip Drill

The drill will develop your mental toughness to play the short game under pressure.

How to Do Beat the Previous Chip Drill:

  • Create a circle of 5-foot radius around the cup and mark different angles with ball markers around it.
  • Grab two balls and select a spot to chip from.
  • Chip the first ball inside the circle, which leaves a putt of 5ft or less.
  • Now, try to chip the second ball closer to the first one.
  • If you fail to hit the first chip inside the 5ft ring, start over.
  • You’ll be only allowed to go for a second attempt if the first chip is inside the ring.
  • After successful completion of the drill, move further from the hole to make it more challenging.

Golf Practice Plans to Follow

Thanks for reading today’s article!

Nick Foy – Golf Instructor

nick foy golf academy
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