Short Game Handicap

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2024

Golf Practice Games: The Short Game Handicap

The Short Game Handicap is a golf practice game that is awesome for any golfer struggling around the greens and will lower your score immediately!

Written By: Zach Gollwitzer

Posted in: Short Game Drills

Who is this drill best for?

This drill will be best for:

  • Golfers who lack confidence around the greens
  • Golfers looking to improve their scrambling percentage

Required Materials and Equipment

For this drill, you will need:

  • One golf ball (that you use on the course)
  • Golf Clubs
  • Practice green that allows chipping and pitching
    • You can also do this on the course if it's not busy!

Drill Overview

Here's a quick overview of the drill:

  • Play 9 or 18 "holes"
  • Alternate between "hard", "moderate", and "easy" short-game shots
  • To get your hole "score", step off how far your shot is from the hole
    • Within 5 foot-lengths is a par
    • Within 15 foot-lengths is a bogey
    • Outside of 15 foot-lengths (or missed green) is a double-bogey
  • Write down your 9-hole score and keep track of your "handicap" over time!

Drill Instructions

To perform this drill, follow these instructions:

  1. Grab one golf ball (that you play with on the course)
  2. Pick an "easy" chip or pitch shot around the green and drop your ball there
  3. Hit your shot, going through your realistic routine
  4. Walk your shot off and mark your score
  5. Now, pick a "moderate" chip or pitch shot and do the same
  6. Finally, pick a "hard" chip or pitch shot (or bunker shot)
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 until you have finished 9 or 18 holes
  8. Record your final score in a journal
  9. After 3-5 rounds, you will have a "handicap" that you can track and try to improve throughout your practice sessions!

Drill Variations

This drill has one variation.

If you have access to a green that allows both chipping and putting, a more effective way to do this drill is to putt everything out!

Instead of walking off your distances after each chip shot, you can go through the realistic scenario of actually trying to get up and down.

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