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Put in the effort to develop a Blixt-like short game

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Jonas Blixt overcame the field and the darkness Sunday to claim victory at The Greenbrier Classic.

He did it by playing his game and excelling at his forte, the short game.

Blixt hovers around the lower half of the PGA Tour on most ball-striking statistics. However he is positioned near the top on several short-game stats.

At the Greenbrier, Blixt finished second in the field for strokes gained-putting and tied for third in scrambling.

If you are interested in lowering your scores, then check out the tips below to get the most out of your short game.

Putting styles vary widely on the PGA Tour. However, I teach that the following fundamentals are important for any golfer of any skill level to follow if they want to simplify their putting stroke and make more putts:

• Putter flat on the ground at address.

• Eyes directly over the inside corner of the golf ball.

• Proper alignment of the putter face to the target and your body parallel to the target line.

When it comes to your short game, use these basic rules to make smart decisions around the greens:

• Only select a shot you’re comfortable hitting. In other words, in competition avoid hitting shots you’ve never practiced.

• Select a club and shot that requires the smallest swing possible. Big swings make big mistakes. Example: hitting flop shots can be cool and effective, but if you can also keep the ball low and let it roll out (which requires less swing), that may be a better option.

• Emphasize your landing area. Not only is it important to determine your landing area for distance, but also for direction. Remember that the ball will bounce according to the slope of the green. This will require you to read the green more like a putt, even though a wedge may be in your hand.

If you truly want to improve your short game, you must learn to love it. Those who enjoy working on their short game tend to get really good at it.

If you consider yourself a person that hates the short game, then slowly dedicate more of your practice time to it so you can slowly improve.

Short-game success breeds more success because you’ll enjoy it more as you get better.

Take an online lesson with Tyrus York.