Instruction — Three Shots to Get Up and Down

Low, Medium and High describes the shots necessary to be successful with your short game. Each shot plays an important role lowering your scores. I’m a firm believer that there are no wrong shots in golf. There are just higher and lower percentage shots. Every golfer needs to play the shots according to their strengths. Improving each of these shots will allow you to always play the highest percentage shot to get the ball ‘up and down.’

Low Shot – This is the first option off the green after you rule out putting. The shot usually has minimal air time and maximum roll time. The shot is hit contacting the front edge of the club into the grass at impact. By making this contact the shaft and your hands will lean forward to deloft the club. The setup starts with a narrow stance and the ball back inside your trail foot. Most of your weight should be on the front side. The club should stand up tall, even if the heel is slightly off the ground and the shaft leans forward slightly in front of the ball. The swing motion is mostly with your arms moving back and forward. The follow through remains low to the ground. When you have some green to work with, this is the ‘go to’ shot. You can use any club from an 8-iron to a sand wedge to play the shot.


Medium Shot – This shot is played with your sand wedges. It’s the next option once you exhaust hitting the low shot. Most likely you have something you have some grass to carry before you get to the green.  The trajectory of the shot has some height to it and the ball will roll out a little once it gets on the ground. Your stance widens a little from the low shot. Your weight is positioned more even at address and the hands are more in line with the ball. The goal at impact is to get the bottom of the club to contact the ground as you hit the ball. The backswing allows for some wrist cock as the arms swing back. The toe of the club should point to the sky as the wrists are cocking. This motion allows the loft of the club to remain constant throughout the swing.


High Shot – The last option when you go through the progression of your short game shots. This is the lowest percentage shot as the ball is in the air most of the time making it harder to judge with distance and trajectory. However, it’s a shot that’s necessary to get out of jail. At address add loft to the club and open your stance. The ball will be played more up by your left eye and your hands will be even with the ball. The goal at impact is to have the trailing edge of the club contact the ground as the club slides under the ball. The same swinging motion is necessary for this shot as was executed in the medium shot.

Improving each of these shots around the green will undoubtedly improve your short game and lower your score.