What should you expect from your short game?

Today’s blog post is focused on your expectations and abilities around the green, specifically from 50 yards and in. I have played with higher handicapped golfers who genuinely expect to hit it inside 10 feet every time from inside 100 yards which just isn’t the reality of golf.

Here is an image of a tour players practice results from 50 yards…

You’ll see that there are a number of fantastic shots close to the hole but also at least 20-30% are outside of 20-25 feet. This is completely normal.

The most eye opening thing I have seen was when I went to watch the BMW Championship at Wentworth about 10 years ago and saw at least 6 completely chunked chips around the green. They are not shots that I expected to see but we all do them!

So for amateur golfers, what should you expect?

These stats above from Shot Scope/ Golf Monthly show the up and down expectation for different handicap ranges from different yardages. Notice the huge drop off when the distance off the green increases by 10-20 yards extra.

What I draw from this is regardless of your handicap range if you miss a green by 20 yards don’t expect to get up and down. For higher handicap ranges just hitting the green is often good enough. I would also stress that your ability to hit longer shots closer to the green is so important as the drop off in percentage is quite stark.

My tips for improving your up and down percentages are:

1) Know your iron distances to get closer to the hole
2) Experiment with different clubs around the green in practice
3) Make sure you do practice!
4) Remember that sometimes just hitting the green is great

Lee Wilson, May 2021