Managing your way around the green is an important part of golf. Finding a pace of play that suits you is vital for success.
Chipping and pitching are determined by feel. Feel shots aren’t played with a full swing so questions are raised. How hard should I hit it? How fast should I swing? When coaching short-game I take a different approach to answering these questions. I observe the pace my pupils play, walk, collect balls and swing. This pace should be consistent throughout.
Nick Price is a brisk swinger of the club. He walks briskly and purposely. His practise swing is quick which shows in his shot execution. Fred Couples is the opposite. Freddie strolls round the course at ease resulting in a flowing swing and a short-game that almost looks lazy. These guys have won majors through playing shots with a pace natural to the movement of their bodies.
Raise your awareness of the pace you do things. Once you have determined your natural pace of walking, swinging and reacting, incorporate this into your short-game. This will encourage better feel and more consistency around the greens.
When practising, meanwhile, take time to assess what pace of person/player you are. Do that, and you will reduce any anxiety during feel shots.
Steve Johnston is the PGA professional at The Roxburghe. For lessons, call Steve on 01573 450 333. Follow him on Twitter: @mrstevejohnston
Originally published on bunkered on April 1, 2013.