3 Types of Short Game Shots That Will Lower Your Scores with Brandon Stooksbury

How to Hit Short Game Shots with Brandon Stooksbury

Hey GoGolf365 members, it's Brandon Stooksbury.

I want to give you a little bit of a rundown here on three different kinds of short game shots that can really serve your purpose all the way from the edge of the green back out to about 35-40 yards, depending on your ability level.

Those three swings or the Bump-and-Run the Hinge-and-Hold, and the Tall Shot.

Some people might call it a chip shot instead of a Bump-and-Run, some people might call it a pitch shot instead of a Tall Shot, and that's okay - those are just the words that I use.

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1. Bump-and-Run / Chip Shot

And so first let's talk about the Bump-and Run.

It's a very small swing, doesn't really require anything more than just a rock of the shoulders and a very tiny little wrist set, and then you just let your body go with the shot. Just let the energy flow toward the target.

That's gonna get you right from about five yards off the edge of the green, to where the ball is just going to carry on to the green, and then release. Depending on what club you use it might roll out a little further, a little shorter.

If you're a little further away from that, say maybe five yards to back out to about 15 yards away from the edge of the green, you need to hit it a little harder, right? Well, you're gonna add a little bit of wrist hinge to the Bump-and-Run.

With the Bump-and-Run, just add some shoulder rock and a tiny little bit of wrist set. 

2. Hinge-and-Hold

Now you're going to really add some wrist hands, and we're going to call that the Hinge-and-Hold.

The reason we call it the “hinge” is because we have hinge here, the “hold” is because we hold the finish at about the same height that we did the backswing.

It looks something like this. Ball’s gonna carry 5 to 15 yards.

3. Tall Shot / Pitch Shot

Let's say you're a little longer than 15 yards, 15 yards back out to maybe 30-35 yards.

Here's the Tall Shot, some people call it the pitch. We're going to add a little bit of arm swing to what we did with the Hinge-and-Hold.

The Bump-and-Run here with a little bitty wrist hinge, Hinge-and-Hold with added wrist hinge, the Tall Shot’s gonna add arm swing to what we did with the Hinge-and-Hold right.

So shoulders go, a little wrist set, arm swing, and then through to the same distance.

Think about a clock: If you swing it back to nine o'clock, make sure you finish it at three o'clock. We don't want to finish shorter or longer.

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Short Game Shots FAQs

What is the difference between a chip shot and a pitch shot?

A chip shot is a low, running shot that's usually played from near the green, whereas a pitch shot is a higher shot usually played from further away from the green. The main difference is the trajectory of the ball and the distance it covers.

How can mastering these short game shots lower my scores?

Mastering these short game shots can lower your scores because they are critical to saving strokes around the green. These shots can help you get out of difficult lies, get up and down from bunkers, and make better use of the terrain to get the ball closer to the hole.

What is the most important factor in executing a successful short game shot?

The most important factor in executing a successful short game shot is understanding the trajectory and distance that you want the ball to travel. Knowing these details allows you to choose the right club and make the proper swing for the desired result.

How can I improve my bunker shots?

Improving your bunker shots requires practice, patience, and a understanding of the proper technique. Use a sand wedge, open the clubface, play the ball back in your stance, and accelerate through the shot to maximize your chances of success. Practicing different types of lies and terrains can also help improve your bunker shots.

Brandon currently serves as the Head Golf Professional at the historic Metairie Country Club outside New Orleans, Louisiana. He specializes in competitive player development with a focus in the areas of short-game and putting and has students competing at every level from junior and club golf through the collegiate ranks and professional tours.

Since 2010, Brandon has consistently been ranked among the top 5 teachers in his state by Golf Digest and is a member of the magazine’s elite “Best Young Teachers’ list. He has earned multiple PGA honors including the 2015 and 2018 “Teacher of the Year” in Georgia and has been recognized by GolfTips Magazine as a “Top 25 Instructor” as well as a Top 50 instructor by the Golf Range Association of America.

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