Is It More Important to Master The Long Game or Short Game?

PGA tours and golf tournaments attract a lot of fans.

Watching golfers hit drivers and putts can be such a thrilling episode.

Golfers master both the aspects of long games and short games.

Here we analyze the technicality of both games and help you decide where your strengths should be.

So, Is It More Important to Master The Long Game or Short Game?

Knowing your weakness is crucial to understanding your strengths. A great short game can save you by keeping your scores low. However mastering the long game will get you closer to the greens in fewer strokes. Long game is fun when hitting the ball at incredible speeds when you are an amateur, but when you start playing professional golf, short game is the area you need to be extremely good in.

What Is The Long Game? What Is The Short Game?

The long game is where you hit a golf ball to reach the putting green in as few strokes as possible.

These shots are made from the tee box, which is far from the green area.

It would be best if you use a lot of power to ensure the ball goes as far as possible.

The ball is normally hit with a driver when it is elevated on the tee.

Short game golf is where the ball is hit with precision to land into the holes while avoiding obstacles on the course.

Short game requires finesse more than power and speed as you hit it within 100 meters of the green.

Both the short and long games are an essential aspect of winning golf games.

The Four Long Game Shots

1. Woods

This is a shot made from the fairway or out of the fairway using wood.

The wood generally has a big-headed face made of titanium and less lofted club faces.

Woods hit the ball farther, but it is pretty tricky to control. They are used in the tee box when you are far away from the fairway. Hitting a wood requires some bit of skill to land the ball in the greens.

To hit a perfect wood, make the angle of descent steeper by swinging from a higher apex.

Body positioning is also vital in hitting a fairway wood.

Move the ball forward towards your stance.

Do not stand far back, as this will result in a lesser lofted clubface.

Contrary to popular belief, a forward stance will not negate your distance, but it will improve your chances of hitting a successful wood.

2. Drive

This is a long-distance shot that is taken to make the ball approach the green as close as you can.

Few shots are as satisfying as outdriving your opponent; however, driver shots are not easy to hit and most people hit 70.

Hitting 80 is commendable and a big achievement.

The driver is the longest of the clubs and has a less lofted clubface which requires you to change a lot while hitting drivers.

To hit a perfect driver, follow the following:

  • Tee the ball up high
  • Widen the stance
  • Loosen the tension on your arm
  • Do not move the club past a parallel stance
  • Hit it

Most golfers have problems hitting drivers.

A driver and iron are somewhat similar.

You only need to remember the longest club in your bag is a driver.

Widening your stance and teeing the ball high up will result in perfect drivers that will improve your score in the long game.

3. Irons

Iron shots are smoother and up swinging.

To give the ball a sweeping motion, you need to be closer to it and loosen on your backswing.

You can practice the backswing without a ball, loosen your arms and make a full wide backswing.

Your iron shot will only be successful if you do not aid the ball up.

Hit it with a sweeping motion to produce a long far shot than a fading shot.

4. Hooks

Most shots will involve hitting the target in a direct line; however, specific scenarios will require you to go around the obstacle.

When that happens a hook is a reliable shot to take. Hooks curve from the swinging side towards the opposite side.

For right-handed people, the hook moves from right to left.

Draws are distinguishable from hooks in that they are slower and have less curvature. Hooks require you to put extra grip pressure and close the clubface.

Hit it while maintaining the angles.

A higher spin loft means there will be more vertical spin at the expense of horizontal spin.

Apart from going around obstacles, hooks also improve your swing.

The next time you encounter obstacles, you can pull out your hook shot and curve the ball towards the greens.

Related: Can You Play a Round of Golf with Acrylic Nails?

The Five Shots Of The Short game

When it comes to short games, having a variety of shots to choose from will help you tackle any challenge that comes your way.

1. Putting

When you come to within 20 yards of the hole, it is human to fret over the possibility of missing. There are many factors to consider when the ball is within the hole range.

The nature of the slope and speed of the greens affect your putting output. The right club for putting is a putter.

Take a putter and line it up underneath the ball, rock your shoulders without breaking your wrists.

Your stance and swing determine if you will make the hole, therefore it is important to practice the appropriate stance.

This is one of the most valuable shots in the greens, with the hole within visual distance and no obstruction.

When you miss a couple of putts, it is easy to give up on the technique, however, puts win you games.

You can practice using various drills to get better at it. Be aggressive at every put and try to make every hole. Putting is the strength of the short game, and you should master it.

2. Wedges

Wedges will save you a round of golf. Mastering wedges is key in improving your score.

Pitch shots around the green usually require you to know how to handle shots over the lip and chip shots. A big swing generates a lot of speed that lifts the ball up over the bunker.

Short game requires precision and speed for you to win. You need to know the following types of shots to be a pro in in-game scenarios.

3. Chip shot

A chip shot stays close to the ground and bounces about the ground after impact.

It is advisable you chip when near the green.

When the ball is in the rough and a greenside bunker between the ball and the hole, it is advisable not to chip as you do not know how the ball will respond to the bunker terrain.

Therefore you should only chip when:

  • You can predict where the ball will land
  • You can predict how the ball will bounce on the fairway
  • You can predict how the length of the grass will affect the bounce of the ball

The type of club you choose also affects the quality of your chip shot.

For longer chips, mid irons work best, and for shorter chips, a wedge is better since you can roll it out.

Hold your grip relatively light to relieve pressure on the swing.

You can also use your putting grip if you are comfortable with it. It is only logical that your stance changes as grip pressure changes.

Plant your feet closer to each other and the ball to the inside of your back foot. Now swing the club like a pendulum while aiming for the target.

4. Pitching shot

Pitching shots are similar to chip shots.

The only difference is that pitch shots are used when there is an obstacle to get over.

Pitch shots do not roll out as far, and you should use them when you need an adequate amount of backspin.

You can use a lob wedge or a 9- iron to hit a pitch shot. To hit a pitch shot, follow the following:

· Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart

· Form a V with your clubface

· Accelerate through the ball while maintaining the line between feet

The impact follow-up should be the ball then the ground; this is the same as the chip shot.

5. Bump and run shot

You are probably wondering when and where to use this shot.

This shot can be used when there is a lot of green to work with.

When you roll the ball on the green, you can easily predict where it will end with a desirable lie.

To hit a bump and run shot you will want to grab a 7-iron.

A bump and run shot is a long putter. A putter and bump and run shot share similarities from swing type and stance position.

Ball positioning determines the backspin that will be generated on the ball.

Place the ball close to your stance such that it is nearer the torso side you use to swing.

You can now add a bump and run to your bag of shots and use it on the course to win against your peers.

Related: Is It Bad To Hit Golf Balls Into A Lake?


Long game vs. Short game Q&A – Mygolf Spy

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