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Improve Your Short Game With A Worst Ball Drill

It’s never too early to start thinking about your practice routines for the golf season to come.

Practice (and I mean real practice, not warming up for a round) can often become boring and unproductive for many golfers. A common scene I see played out all the time in short game areas all over, is golfers hitting a shot they can perform well over and over again. They have immediate success and feel gratified, but did they really make any real gains from the process?

For us to improve we need to attack our weaknesses, not just perpetuate our strengths.

To help this process there are games you can play to make our practice more interesting while seeking improvement.

Kevin Robson, a reader and guest columnist, recently asked on Twitter about best games for practicing in and around the green (within 50 yards) and this was my contribution.

Short Game Worst Ball

As we often don’t like to admit defeat, it is easy to get into the habit of building our ego by playing and accepting our best played shots in golf, rather than addressing the failings of our poor ones. As such, I like to play this practice game, personally, and with students.

Take two golf balls and set up a scenario ((pitching (up to 50 yards depending on your facility), chipping, or putting)) with the goal to put the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes possible.

Hit both shots to the target, then choose you poorest one (not always the closest, a pitch could find a bunker, deep rough, or a poor lie around the green), and then play two balls from there, continuing the process of playing the worst shot. Design 9 “holes” and keep score. Then repeat from the same original locations and try to beat the core.

This routine forces you to try and concentrate on each shot, puts you in “poor” situations more like you will have to address on the golf course, and will make you more resilient.

You will also be able to spot your weaknesses rather than fooling yourself into thinking you have “mastered” your skills.

Also playing consider it against a friend for even more entertainment.

/ Scott MacLeod is the Associate Publisher of Flagstick/Flagstick Golf Magazine and a Class A member of the PGA of Canada