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Those of you who have been reading this blog, know that I practice, especially in winter, on the Dancin’ Dogg Optishot simulator (review of it is here).
Now of course, there is absolutely nothing like being on a golf course, on warm spring or summer day, warming up on the putting green, hitting few chips and sand shots, and then hitting the range for a little warm up before a round. Then teeing off on number one for a 4.5 hour round (ah the muni life). However, since I live in a cold area of the country, and the temperatures are currently around freezing, the simulator has become my golf course.
Combined with swing anlysis work done with video, and stats from the simulator on my swing, I have been able to make substantial positive changes in my swing. I’ve gone to the driving range (the real one) to keep tabs on the swing and see ball flight, and the driving range has confirmed the improvements I’ve made on the simulator. On it my scoring has greatly improved. But as my full swing has gotten better, it has put even more pressure on my short game if I want to have really good scoring rounds. It is hard to hit every green and so your short game has to make up for that.
I find the trickiest shots, are those between 30 and 50 yards to get close to the pin. add some rough and it’s a bit trickier. Bunker shots from beyond 10 yards are also difficult to get close. Sounds a lot like real golf doesn’t it? I’ve also found that if I get those shots within 7 feet of the pin, I will usually save par or birdie the par 5. However anything outside of 7 feet, usually results in a two-putt. Even one a simulator it’s more fun to practice your long game than your short game, but I’ve made a dedicated effort to work on the short game and my scores on it show that it is a wise move.
If you can keep the ball in play, you need a good short game to score well. It’s true in the simulator and it’s true in real life.