ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Claude Harmon III on a Simpler Short Game Setup

First, make sure you understand that the first photo below shows THE WRONG WAY to set up for general short game shots. At least, that's what Claude Harmon III says in this Golf Digest instruction article. It's called Want a More Consistent Short Game? Simplify Your Setup.

The WRONG way to set up for general short game shots

Harmon says this address position, which is a popular recommendation as of late, isn't good for most of the short shots an average golfer faces. It's great for hitting a low running shot but it does so by delofting the clubface. That makes it harder to get the ball up in the air for other shots without skulling or scooping the ball.

Here's Harmon's recommendation:

A simpler, more consistent setup for short shots

By centering the ball in your stance, you minimize the chance of a mis-hit. And if you need to hit a low shot, you can just use a club with less loft.

The difference between Harmon's setup and the one I generally recommend is small. I like to have the ball under my hands -- which puts the ball slightly ahead of center -- while Harmon has his hands slightly ahead of the ball. He uses his feet to position the ball while I use my hands to position the ball. That's why we have a difference; I feel it's easier to create the same position each time using my method. (I also tend to use a less-lofted club for standard shots; I like to hit lower shots when I can.) But we're both using the same concept -- the closer the ball is to the low spot in your short game stroke, the more consistent your contact will be.

Harmon's article is short and you'll want to take a look at it, if for no other reason than to learn what Tiger told him about short game setup. But in any case, the guiding principle is this: With short game as with most other things in life, it's better to avoid extremes when you can.


  1. Mike: can you say a little more about positioning the ball based on feet versus hands?

    1. Watch for a post, Dana. I think it deserves one. ;-)