In the golf video below John Richardson shares his 4 secrets to short game success. But in case you don’t want to watch the video here is a summary of what John has to say:
1. Get Creative With Where You Practice.
His local course had no practice area so he had to sneak onto an old discarded tee to do most of his practice.
He also used to practice at home in the garden and even in his living room.
Needless to say practicing his chipping on the carpet made him extraordinarily unpopular at home and he quickly had to stop so that I wouldn’t break his self-imposed “do not get divorced during the challenge” rule.
He also used to get up early and sneak onto the local council owned pitch and putt course which is quite near his home.
Like a naughty teenager he used to “scarper” whenever the council van would arrive to open up the facility.
But this was a great way to get in some practice without annoying either his wife or business partners since everyone else was still asleep!
So don’t make excuses about why you can’t practice your short game – get creative and find places to do it.
2. “Play”. Have fun, “muck about”, do silly shots.
John spent most of his time challenging himself with all sorts of daft wee games like hitting perfect lobs shots with his 6 iron or using his lob wedge as a chipping club.
He would try to do huge high lobs that he could then run underneath and catch the ball.
He would have competitions to see how many balls in a row he could chip into his ball bag or if he could play billiards with the balls that were lying on the grass in front of me.
He would challenge himself to hit balls out of divots or on rock hard lies – anything to test himself and remove the monotony of standard practice.
When he played like this it taught him a huge level of creativity which stood him in great stead when he went back out onto the course.
It also dramatically increased his confidence when he was faced with a tricky lie or an awkward stance and really needed to get an “up and down”.
But best of all it made practice a fun and enjoyable thing to do. Try it!
3. Remove the variables.
This is another area where John’s advice goes against the general theories out there.
The general theory of chipping is to vary the clubs you use so that you get the ball a metre or so onto the green and let it roll to the pin.
But one of John’s key concepts during the year was NOT to overcomplicate the game.
So John wanted to have one club that he would use for chipping.
That club for John was a 9 iron.
That meant he could practice until he was blue in the face and learn exactly how much roll to expect from that club in different situations.
So he would remove variables and keep it simple.
Additionally, John used three clubs in and around the green 99% of the time. His 56* SW for classic pitching shots, his 60* lob wedge for getting over difficult obstacles with a short landing area and his 9 iron for chipping.
The 52* Gap Wedge and standard Pitching wedge stayed firmly in John’s bag and all of his practice revolved around the three club mentioned above.
They became his best freinds 🙂
4. Keep score and get realistic
Much of John’s golf success centred around all sorts of slightly daft mind control techniques, visualisation and weird NLP concepts like modelling and anchoring but he always left this creative side behind at the end of a session and took score.
You must, must, must keep track of your progress and have proper empirical evidence as to what is actually working for you and what isn’t.
You can read all the golf literature you want, watch all the videos and even kid yourself that certain things are working for you but unless you have the figures to back it up very often this is just self-delusion.
And golf is filled with self-delusion so make it a rule to avoid it and you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour.
For John that meant lots of hard evidence as to exactly how well he was progressing and exactly what type of club or shot would get me closer to the hole.
Most pros would always advise that you “chip” the ball with a low lofted club and a straight arm technique when you are close to the hole.
It’s easy to take what these guys say as gospel but for John that was wrong.
And he has the evidence to prove it in his little black practice books.
He would consistently get the ball closer to the hole pitching with his sand wedge.
So keep score and make sure you don’t take anything that anyone else says about your game as the truth until you have accurately tested it.
Now here is the video:
About John Richardson: John is from Northern Ireland. And as an average golfer he set an extraordinary goal of shooting par or better within a year. His first round to kick off the challenge was 103. And then 362 days later he shot 70! Everything John did to achieve this goal is explained in full detail in this Break Par Blueprint Program which is perfect for the “average” golfer that want’s to make a big improvement to their golf game.
About Andy Brown: Andy lives in St. Andrews and is the publisher of The New Four Magic moves which you can find out more about here.