Golf tip: Proper sequence can help refine your short game swing

In a last month's tip for successful short game shots, I focused on standing to the handle for a good set-up. Once you are set up correctly, the next element to hitting solid short game shots is about developing the proper sequence in the downswing between the body, hands and clubhead.

Short game shots require precision and finesse, not speed. Instead of multiplying your swing speed with a lower-body-initiated downswing in the power sequence we described earlier, you want to start things off with your clubhead on these short shots.

Instead of producing a swing where the clubhead lags behind, you're making one where you throw the clubhead right away, so it doesn't lag. In fact, lag is a short game destroyer.

If you picture your swing from face-on, imagine your clubhead, hands and chest all making their own circles during the swing. The clubhead makes the largest circle, followed by the hands and the center of the body-which is making the smallest circle of the three. The goal is to get the clubhead, hands and body center to reach the impact point of their circles all at the same time.

For this to happen, the clubhead has farther to go, which means it needs to start earlier and move faster. That means you're going to feel a different sensation from the top of the backswing than you're probably used to with your full swing.

Instead of starting your downswing with a lower body drive while your hands swing down toward the ball, your first move in the downswing will be releasing the clubhead and making it start its trip toward the ball.

I like to use the analogy of a horse race going around a circular track. The horse in the outside lane is the clubhead, and it needs to go the fastest to get around the track first. When the clubhead reaches the ball at the same time as your hands and body center, you will hit a solid chip or pitch!

• Todd Sones is a PGA Professional, Top 100 Golf Magazine teacher and owns the Impact Golf/Scoring Zone Golf Schools at White Deer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills. His new book, "The Scoring Zone," is available on Amazon. You can reach him at Visit his website at for more information.

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• With assistance from the Illinois PGA, the Daily Herald provides golf tips each Wednesday from a PGA Professional.

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