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Most important golf shots to practice

Most Important Golf Shots To Practice - My TOP 9 List

golf practice golf tips

There's no such thing as a magic stick to improve your scores, but there's definitely a correct way to practice for a maximum improvement by going to the driving range and invest your time in most important golf shots to practice.

This is my TOP 9 list of most important golf shots to practice that helped me gain shots and score under 80 back in 2008 when I wasn't a scratch golfer yet.


Most important golf shots to practice

Here's a short list of most important golf shots to practice which we will break down and explain later in the article:

  • Consistent tee shots
  • Chip shot
  • Pitch shot from 50 yards and closer
  • Putting from 3 to 10 feet
  • Escape shots - low shots behind the trees
  • Short iron shots between 60 and 120 yards
  • Putts between 20 and 30 feet
  • Bunker shots around the green
  • Putting from the fringe or fairway


1. Consistent tee shots (doesn't have to be a driver)

Let us clarify first - tee shots don't always have to be made with a driver. It's a good thing if you can hit it accurately on the fairway, especially on longer golf courses, but a 3 wood or a hybrid will do the magic as well.

Practice different tee shots and find your safe shot. Sometimes it's better to be 20-30 yards short and on the fairway that long and in the fairway bunker, water, fescue etc.


2. One of the most important golf shot to practice is definitely a chip shot

Why is a chip shot one of the most important golf shots? Because it comes in handy every time you miss the green.

The goal is to achieve at least 30-40% up and down success with chip shots. This means you make an up and down at least in 3 out of 10 chip shots. That's already great for an amateur and one of the main factors of low scores and breaking 90 or even 80 shots.

For the reference, the best PGA tour average is between 50% and 70%


3. Pitching from 50 yards and closer

Another very important shot is a pitch shot. Hitting it close to the hole within 50 yards is a great deal and is not so simple as it sounds. For an easy up and down you should place the ball 3 yards or closer to the hole.

Pitch shots are also often neglected in practice because golfers tend to practice their long game or chipping and putting but somehow forget about pitching.


4. Putting from 3 to 10 feet

3 to 10 feet putts often coincide with the first two points (chip and pitch shots) because for a successful up and down you need to sink the putt. If you're not extremely good in chipping and pitching you're probably have some more work to do sinking the 3-10 feet putt for an up & down.

These putts are also really great to carry some positive momentum to the next hole if you successfully sink them.

One of the most important golf shot to practice is definitely putting within 10 feet


5. Escape shots - low shots from behind the trees

Escape shots are very hard to practice. Usually you can't practice them on the driving range, but on the course. You could practice on the range, but with a lot of imagination and visualisation.

I would advise you to practice them on the course. Especially when you have time and no flight behind you - every time you find yourself in trouble, hit two balls from the same position and then play on with the worse ball. It's a really good practice.


6. Short iron shots between 60 and 120 yards

I know you're not a PGA player, neither am I. But practice with short irons should still be on the 5th place of the most important golf shots to practice. It's a no brainer...

When you find yourself in the 120 range on the golf course, the main goal is to hit the green and leave yourself a birdie putt. At the end it doesn't matter how long the putt is, but just that you’re on the green and you're attacking birdie and don’t have to fight for up and down par.

Even if you master the shots within 120 yards and less, try to play conservative according to your golf strategy. If you're not a scratch golfer don't attach the pin for every cost. Play strategically and aim more towards the middle of the green. This will leave some room for error so even if you miss the other way, you can still hit the green and putt instead of chip.



7. Putts between 20 and 30 feet - distance control

Practice putting distance control. This is the first and more important skill to avoid three-putts. Good distance control will leave you with not more than 3-4 feet putt, even if you misread the break. Very rarely you make a misread for more than a yard or so...


8. Bunker shots around the green

Sand save, another up and down shot that's worth a mention. Bunker shots are usually a nightmare for beginners and high handicappers, but on the other hand they can drastically improve your scores, especially on the golf courses with a lot of bunkers.

One of the most important golf shots is a bunker shot around the green

For example Pebble Beach Golf Links has as many as 118 bunkers stretching around 18 holes. Shinnecock Hills Golf boasts the most bunkers in the United States with estimated 160 bunkers. I would call this a miracle and at the same time a nightmare for beginner golfers 😁


9. Putting from the fringe or fairway

For average golfer a putt from the fairway close to the green is much easier than a short chip which can easily be hit thin or thick. Keep this in mind when you practice. Practice both and see what you're comfortable with more so you can easily decide on the golf course about the optimal shot for a successful up and down.

I would advise you to practice putts from the fringe or fairway in the situations when the hole is on the front of the green and you don't have much space to work with. This way you will better control the distance of the putt and hit it close or even sink the putt.


Why practice most important golf shots?

It's good to have a focus during your practice. If you take your time to go on a driving range, don't just hit balls one after another. Make a plan, practice the right shots and you will see an improvement on the golf course. Driving range is for practice all the situations you can find yourself in on the course so take advantage of it and have a quality practice.



Practice of most important golf shots is very important because it helps you react and hit well from different situations on the golf course. Sometimes you will even find yourself in a position where the yardage and ball lie will be the same as on the driving range and you'll know exactly what to do.

But even if every situation will be different from what you practice, you will have more experience and skills to adapt and get the most out of it.


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