Rutgers focuses on accuracy, precision of short game
Golf is a game of precision and accuracy, and no part of a golfer’s game tests this more than in short game.
“I honestly think that short game is one of the hardest aspects of golf, because you have to be so accurate in every part of the short game,” said sophomore Christina Paulsen.
The short game consists of putting, chipping, bunker shots, flop shots and a pitch shot, among other facets, to put golfers in the best possible position to get the ball in the hole.
The type of shot a golfer takes depends on where the ball lands.
Short game is critical to a golfer’s success as it allows the golfer the opportunity to finish off a hole on a positive note. It plays a big role in shooting birdies and shooting par on holes to get the best possible score.
Rutgers head women’s golf Maura Ballard agrees that short game plays a big role in a player’s performance during a round.
“At the level we play everyone can hit a great long ball, but having finesse and consistency around the greens will set a player apart from the rest of the field,” Ballard said. “The short game shots account for 65 percent of the shots hit during a round of golf.”
A golfer can have a great shot of the tee, but that doesn’t matter if the athlete cannot convert the shots closer to the holes to shoot for par or under par.
Sophomore Samantha Moyal thinks the short game is critical to being a successful golfer and that there are no excuses when it comes to executing a good short game.
“I think if someone is struggling with their short game than they haven’t practiced it nearly as much as they should be,” Moyal said.
That is the only way to execute a successful short game — practice.
The golfer must prepare correctly in practice so she can successfully approach the shot and have the confidence to convert it.
Ballard echoed preparation is a key component to short-game success.
“All of the short-game shots are challenging and require a lot of feel,” Ballard said. “In order to succeed with your short game you must put a lot of time in practicing the different shots needed around the course. … You will gain feel and confidence through practicing the short game.”
A key to converting shots closer to the hole is having confidence in the short game — a strong indicator of whether improvements can be made in a golfer’s short game.
“Short game is a vital part of golf because if you cannot get up and down for par, you will start to slowly lose confidence in yourself,” Paulsen said.
If there is a lack of confidence when it comes to a short-game shot, then it can be a long day for the golfer on the course.
Besides confidence, another struggle can be where the ball ends up and how to approach the shot. The ideal place to get the golf ball is on the green, as it provides a favorable shot for the golfer.
When a ball lands in a bunker or on the grass, it makes the shot that much more difficult because of the troubles these course conditions provide.
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