Which Short Game Shot Should I Play?

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

More Information

Here are two key questions to ask yourself before deciding which shot you should be playing. 1) What is the distance between your ball and a spot you can land the ball safely onto the green or collar? 2) What is the distance from this landing area to the hole?

You must answer these two questions first in order to determine which is the best shot. Convert your answer into AIR time and GROUND time. Air time is simply how long you have to fly the ball in the air, and ground time is how much can you roll the ball after landing. 

Use the chip and run shot whenever you have more ground time than air time or more distance between your landing spot and the hol than your current ball position and your landing spot. 

Use the lob shot when you have more air time than ground time or more distance between you and the landing area, than your landing area and the hole.

Picture in your mind…does this shot require a high soft shot or can I play a lower, running shot to the hole.  There are positions on the course that will require you to use the lob shot and positions that will require you to use the chip and run shot. I prefer to see you use the chip and run whenever it is possible. Your short game consistency and score will improve when you maximize the amount of ground time and minimize the air time.   

Once you have selected your shot preference, the key is the landing spot. Pick out the spot that matches the amount of roll you are anticipating and matches the shot selection you have chosen. Practice picking out landing points and work on the length and pace of your swing to land the ball on your selected spot. If you have chosen the correct ball flight for this shot and land near the landing area, you will be rewarded. 

For more information, contact Mark at moswald@orovalleycountryclub.com.