Tips on improving your golf game from Jim Antkiewicz, The Club at Nevillewood’s Director of Golf.
By Jim Antkiewicz
Director of Golf
I have been involved in golf for over 50 years and I’ve never once heard a player or one of my students say their short game was perfect and they didn’t need to practice chipping, putting or their bunker play.
But year after year, I observe far too many cases where players just can’t seem to put the same effort into pitching and putting as they do in the long game.
When I’m at the Practice Area, I’m more apt to see our members beating a bucket or two of range balls with their woods and long irons then near the practice green honing their skills with wedges and putters.
Yet each of them knows what I know: more than half of the game is played within 100 yards of the green and more strokes are lost with poor chips or pitches or putts than drives. Most of us recognize that practicing chipping and putting can be a bit boring and doesn’t provide the kick associated with making solid contact with a driver.
One unique aspect of successful pitching, chipping and sand play is making sure you have the correct wedges and putter in your bag.
Here are two important steps towards developing a successful short game: add a third or even a fourth wedge to your bag and have you clubs properly fitted to match your swing. Equipment manufacturers today offer more and more options for golfers to take advantage of the availability of different lofts to help you make better shots.
Having your clubs fitted to your individual swing is essential. No two swings with wedges are quite the same so no single club is right for everyone that you may purchase off the shelf. By properly fitting the golf club to your swing, you’ll greatly improve your chances of executing a successful golf shot and add more enjoyment to your game.
(Jim Antkiewicz has been The Club at Nevillewood’s Director of Golf since 1995. In 2008 he was named the National PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year and was inducted into the PGA of America’s Hall of Fame in 2011. Jim is also a member of the Tri-State PGA Hall of Fame and the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. He has served two terms on the Board of Directors of the PGA of America and is a past president of the Tri-State PGA.)