Game Improvement with Darryl Hearsch

Leading senior amateur golfer Darryl Hearsch suggests some golf improvement routines to get your short game up to scratch.

Here are some games for the practise fairway and chipping green. There are times when after a lesson that you just need to work on what you were shown during your lesson. So this would mean you will hit multiple balls just working on your action. This practise is often called block practise which should not be more than 30% of your practise time. After block practise, I then do random practice. Here is three games to try when next at the club.

9 shots game

In this game I try to hit 9 different shots with the same club, which can be any club.
Example a 9 iron – These are the 9 shots I hit and I never hit two shots the same in a row. Shot 1 a normal full shot, Shot 2 a normal full shot with a fade, shot 3 a normal full shot with a draw. Shot 4 a low straight punch shot, Shot 5 a low fade punch shot and shot 6 a low draw punch shot. Shot 7 a straight very high shot, shot 8 a fade high shot and shot 9 a draw high shot.
You can do this routine with any club and I do a full shot routine with each shot. This is random practise which is more like a real game of golf on the course.

All clubs chipping game

Mark a 6 foot ring with 4 tees around a flag on the chipping green. Take 25 balls and at around 25 m from the flag throw them down randomly. The advantage of this is that you will probably get a variety of lies to chip from. The aim of this game is to get as many shots within the 6 foot circle. Use all your clubs and chip 1 ball with each club. Each shot should be with a different club until you have worked through your clubs. Repeat until you hit all 25 balls and score. See if you can better your score each time. Again this is more like a real game of golf. Do your full shot routine for each shot.

7 shots from a bunker game

You can use your 6 foot circle from the previous game for this one. This game works on being able to play all types of lies in a bunker. Use 7 balls for this one. 1 shot per different lie, try to get all shots into the 6 ft circle.
Lie 1 a good flat lie, try to get into the 6 ft circle.
Lie 2 a lie which is slightly plugged with some sand raised after the ball (like a shot coming in on the full leaving a slight indentation in the sand)
Lie 3 a lie in which the ball is plugged
Lie 4 a lie in which the ball is above your feet on a sidehill lie.
Lie 5 a lie in which the ball is below your feet on a sidehill lie.
Lie 6 a lie in which the ball is on an up slope.
Lie 7 a lie in which the ball is on a down slope.
Another variation is to try this with different wedges.

Darryl Hearsch in full swing at the Nambucca Heads Island Course on the NSW mid north coast

*This article first appeared in the NSW Senior Golfing Newsletter

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