In many metropolitan communities, there are limited facilities that are available for adequate short game practice. Los Angeles is a prime example of this shortage of places to develop your skill set to the standards required to play at an elite level. Therefore, if a player lives in an area where facilities are limited, I have come up with a rather unique way to provide players with the ability to practice their short game ON the golf course.
This method requires the use of a golf cart, so those youngster’s who are not allowed to drive a cart will need to have a parent or other person available to drive. The player, pays the normal green fee and proceeds to the number one tee box. If there is a group of golfers ahead of you, wait for them to hit their 2nd shot and then proceed to the fairway WITHOUT hitting a tee shot. When the last player in the group in front of you is starting to finish putting out, you should then start to move to the green area so as to be ready to begin your “short game practice” with 3 or 4 ball’s.
You now have an unlimited amount of shots you can practice by moving around the green, chipping, pitching or playing bunker shots. If there is a group behind you, make sure you keep and eye on them so you can prepare to move on to the next “GREEN” when they are prepared to hit their second shots. You continue this process throughout 9 or 18 holes.
This allows the player to have an advantage of hitting “real” shots from area’s around the green that they might have, when participating in a tournament. It is true that you will need to pay a green fee (hopefully a junior fee), but the benefits to your skill set will be greatly enhanced. The more you can get “real time” practice, it is a benefit for a player.
Remember to repair all divots and ball marks and observe the rules of etiquette when on the course. Short game shots make up approximately 60-70% of your score! Good luck.