My short game is terrible.— Chapeau Noir Golf (@chapeaunoirgolf) August 17, 2013
There, I said it. Sometimes the first step to getting better is admitting to yourself that you have a problem, right?
Thanks to ball / driver technology I'm 20 yards longer now than I was 20 years ago. But my once reliable short game slowly left me over that time. Now 45, my green side confidence has eroded to the point where I'm throwing away at least a half a dozen shots per round. From fat chips to thin pitches, it's generally ugly.
I won't categorize my issue as the yips -- at least not yet, because I sincerely believe the cure is a matter of practice, and then more practice. I have to find time to get out to the short game practice area to figure it out, to regain confidence, to think less, to simply react to the shot that needs to be played.
I think I'm pretty typical when it comes to short game practice, and practice in general.
To get better, I know I need to make the time, and though I want to make the time, choices must be made and balance must be found between family, work, exercise and golf. There are only so many hours in a day.
Which is where the ProApproach pop-up golf net from ProAdvanced Sports comes in.
Neatly packaged and easy to set up, the ProApproach gives me the opportunity to hit chips and short pitches in my front yard, without fear that I'll skip one down the lane. Though it doesn't come with a no hozel-rocket guarantee, for only $79, the ProApproach is one of those products that you wish you'd bought sooner.
With just four hooks to attach to secure the base to the hitting area, the ProApproach sets up in less than a minute, so there should be more excuses about not being able to find enough time to practice.
Using the ProApproach allows me to focus on fundamentals and be less concerned with the result. This is an important benefit as I concentrate on rotating my body through the ball, hitting shots using my chest and less with my hands, as I'm prone to letting my left wrist break down at impact.
Extremely light in weight, the ProApproach comes with a set of stakes to keep it anchored on a breezy day, which are important to use as I quickly discovered, having retrieved an unanchored net from down the block having left it unattended.
The ProApproach also comes with a practice target that can be laid over the net, to help you work on hitting different trajectories, something I'm sure I'll find useful.
It's important to note that the ProApproach isn't designed for full-swing practice -- upgrade to the larger ProReturn if you're looking to work out the kinks in your long game. Like the ProReturn, the ProApproach funnels the ball back to you after every shot, saving you from fishing through netting to get back to the business at hand.
To improve around the greens I plan to combine my use of the ProApproach with a series of short game lessons from my local PGA Professional. Looking forward to sharing my short game progress in upcoming posts.