Like Kaymer, save pars with a sharp short game


Martin Kaymer didn’t make things easy on himself in the final round of the 2014 Players Championship.

He made double bogey on the 15th hole and then left his chip shot on the famous 17th hole island green at TPC Sawgrass woefully short, resulting in a near 30-footer for par.

Kaymer overcame the double and drained the long putt on 17, however, to secure a one-shot victory over Jim Furyk.

The double on 15 Sunday was the only one Kaymer made in the tournament, and his four bogeys for the week tied him for fewest in the field.

On a difficult golf course like Sawgrass, it's important to avoid big numbers and accept that par is a good score at times.

Here are some tips to help you sharpen your short game and get more small numbers on your scorecard:

Have a “go-to” club. Too often I see players using a different club in their bag for every different shot you can have around the green. This might sound good in theory, but the truth is that few players have an opportunity to practice each of those shots using different clubs. Pick one club (I prefer a 56-degree wedge) and practice hitting several different types of shots. To practice the different ways you can use your "go-to" club, pick a target from one location next to the green and see how many different ways you can get the ball close.

Commit to each shot. Because there are so many different ways you can hit any given shot from around the green, it is important that you pick one and commit. Doubt will sabotage your ability to make a good swing, reducing your chances for a desirable result. It is better to choose the wrong shot and be committed than lack commitment for the "right" shot. Your ability to choose the correct shot will increase over time when you gain experience.

Find your zone. Know where you are best at making short putts. For example, if you know that you are automatic inside 3 feet, then practice making sure your short game shots get inside 3 feet. If you can make that zone 5 feet, you can take pressure away from having to make a perfect chip shot each time.

For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your short game, click here.