Your short game involves the shots you play when you are close to the green but not actually on the putting surface. It could be a short chip, a bump and run or a high lofted shot but each of them involves trying to get the ball in or near the hole from a close distance to the green.
Having a consistent short game can reduce the number of shots dropped when close to the green but having a great short game can lower your score.
The execution of shots around the green is one thing but before playing the shot, the key to having a great short game is visualisation. The visualisation of short golf shots can dramatically improve the results of the shot.
As you approach your ball near the green, there are several questions you can ask yourself before you delve into your bag, pull out a club and play your shot.
You must have a clear frame of mind before approaching a short shot around the green and doing this will allow you to focus better and play the shot with more confidence. Knowing exactly what you need to do before playing your shot is vital and answering the following questions will help in that respect.
How is the lie of the ball going to affect your shot?
Where does the ball need to land for the shot to be successful?
How high does the ball need to travel in the air?
How is the ball going to react when contacting the ground?
Where on the hole will the ball drop in?
This may seem like an awful lot to process in the time you have before playing a shot but you can use the time as other players are hitting their ball to go through the questions. The more often you do it, the quicker you will become and before you know it, you will be assessing the situation ahead of a short shot very efficiently.
The final step of short game visualisation is to imagine the perfect outcome of the shot in your head. Imagine seeing the ball land on the green and the path it is going to take before it disappears into the hole. Consider the mechanics of the shot and the perfect technique you are going to produce to get the ball in the hole.
Do not worry about what your friends or other players think about that you are doing as everything is in your mind. Plus, when you are fully focused on the shot, it will be like no one else is even there.