The short game can make or break your golf game, no matter your level of expertise. Even seasoned professionals become stuck on the green many times throughout the course of their game. The short game will take up a large percentage of your shots so practice and club selection is very important.
One of the most important things to remember is t to keep the ball as close to the ground as possible to increase the predictability of the shot. If the golf ball is in the air it will be affected by the wind speed and humidity.
Look at your surroundings carefully and analyse the slope and raising of the green. This will determine the appropriate trajectory of your shots. A raised green will require a different shot to a green that is beneath you. Everything between the golf ball and the hole will also determine if you need to fly the ball or make a bump and run shot. The selection of your club will depend on your scrutiny of the green. A low lofted club should be used to play a bump and run type of shot and a low pitch shot should be executed with a longer club.
There will be times when you need to hit the ball in the air, otherwise known as chipping. A gap or sand wedge can be used to get more loft but is far more unpredictable and requires a careful choice of trajectory. The chip shot has minimal air time and maximum roll, while the pitch shot has a maximum air time and minimal roll. The course and conditions will dictate which shot you should play.
Always look closely at the green and consider the environment before making shots on the ground and in the air. Use the club that feels comfortable but is also the most appropriate for the course and the conditions. Remember, practice makes perfect.