Constantly finishing out rounds of golf more than just a few strokes over par and looking to drop that number down? When tweaking your golf game, many people are tempted to try to add a few yards onto their tee shots or fix a tendency to shank them a bit too often. What can be overlooked by both amateur and aspiring professional golfers are basic improvements to the short game.

While teeing off well is absolutely, unequivocally a huge part of success in the sport, putting can be as high as about 60% of an average golfer’s game, so perfecting (or improving) your short game can yield huge results. For beginner golfers, there are a few simple tips and tricks to keep in mind when learning how to better your short game.

It Starts With Routine
It may seem like a minor part of sinking any shot and is often written off as merely superstition, but getting yourself into a standardized and always-followed routine before a put can help you relax and feel comfortable. Perhaps most notable for this approach is Tiger Woods, whose routine hole to hole almost never wavers to any degree. Determine how you’ll approach the hole, any quick checks you want to make to line up your shot, the number of practice swings, and your body positioning, and then stick to that routine.

Grip the Club in Your Fingers
This may come across as an obvious one, but how your hands are positioned on the club is incredibly important to your ability to keep the ball rolling exactly where you want it to. Your palms don’t matter when it comes to holding the club here, as it’s going to be your fingers doing all the work, which brings me to my next point…

Perfect Your Grip
Your grip shouldn’t be too hard nor should it be too hard, as either of these approaches can lead to some discomfort and flubbed putts. Rather, the most important aspect of it is consistency in how you’re gripping the putter. If you typically utilize a lighter grip strength but nerves and uncertainty are causing you to grip a bit harder, it can throw your putt off drastically.

Be Confident
That’s right – sinking that putt starts and ends in your head. If you’re nervous, jittery or tense, it’s going to throw the direction and accuracy of your putt to the wind. Approach each hole with confidence (and routine!), and finish your shot the same way. Track the path of the ball, reading the green, from the ball to the hole and truly convince yourself that this putt is yours to miss.

Putting is as much a mental part of golf as it is a physical one, so approaching your shots with routine, confidence, and a good grip is an excellent place to start.

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The Team Reed Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization in Houston, Texas that was co-founded by PGA golfer Patrick Reed and his wife, Justine. The foundation is dedicated to supporting the community and help improve people’s lives by benefitting charitable organizations. Follow Team Reed Foundation on Twitter to learn more!