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Practice your short game.

Practice your short game.  Teaching pros say it. But does anyone ever do it?  Turns out, everyone should. Having a good short game can shave strokes off of your round. Think about it, a great approach shot snuggled up next to the hole could save you from a possible 3-putt. 

Practicing wedge shots or putting is an often overlooked aspect of training. A lot of beginner golfers prefer to go to the range and just rip drivers. But long drives won't necessarily lower your score. Instead, make some time for the practice green. Here are a couple of drills that will keep you occupied.

1. As in the image shown, make a hole the target on the practice green.  If you don't have circles, you can use alignment sticks or even golf clubs around the hole. Start close at around 10 ft. Take 5 balls and practice keeping your hands forward and getting to within a club length of your target.  Once you can do that with all of the balls, move a little further away and try a different approach.  This will not only get you comfortable around the green but will also improve your accuracy.

2. Make use of the practice putting green. Use your own balls for putting so you retain a feel for what your balls will do instead of range balls. Try the around-the-world drill.  From 3 feet out, place 4-6 balls in a circle around the hole. Step up to one and putt. From there, move to the next ball, and so on. Once you make all of the shots, move the balls out further to 4 feet. 

With each of these drills, take the time to do your pre-shot routine. Consistency is key.  You are there to practice, so take your time. Develop a pre-shot routine to do before every shot. Tour players take a moment to analyze the shot, the lie, look at the distance, pick a club and do their set-up. They do this for every shot on the course. It helps to stay focused and as a result, make better shots. .

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