Short Game - Fundamentals Pocketshots

This guide is brought to you by Keith Williams a PGA Master Professional who has written and starred in the Pocketshots editions on the short game.

Keith Williams is one of only a handful of PGA Master Professionals in the UK. As a Senior Tour player himself he has a marvellous short game and as a coach he has worked with most of the brightest talents in English golf as National Coach to the English Golf Union for nearly a decade.

He has coached many talented young professionals including many of today’s European Tour players including Sandy Lyle, Scott Drummond, Steve Webster, John Bickerton, Anthony Wall, Gary Wolstenholme, Russell Claydon and others.

Keith was National Coach & Director of Coaching for the English Golf Union for 9 years and he played a major role in the development of training programmes throughout the EGU training system.

Since 2000 he has worked closely with the Sport England Lottery funded World Class Performance Programme for elite amateur golfers on England squads and has travelled with players around the world coaching and supporting their tournament efforts.

In 2002, he won the coveted PGA of Europe 5 Star Professional Award and in 2004 was voted one of Golf Monthly’s Top 25 Coaches.

In the first of a number of short game Pocketshots editions, Keith takes you through the fundamentals required to achieve a consistent short game. This covers:

  • Ball Flight
  • The role of the club head, club face and shaft angle
  • The setup - covering grip, posture, balance, alignment and ball position
  • Swing motion and swing shape
  • Shot and club selection
  • Reading greens
  • Different stances around the green
  • How to play the greenside Chip Shot
  • How to play the Pitch Shot


This lesson helps any golfer develop a solid foundation to their short game. Once this is mastered you will have a good platform upon which you can start to play the more advanced shots covered in his lesson on Short Game - Speciality Shots.


Here's an example of some of the short game tips in his lesson:Keith Williams holding a golf club vertically in an orange shirt

Short Game Shaft Angle

At Address - shaft should be vertical for most shots.


Keith Williams holding a golf club leaning backwards in an orange shirt


Short Game Shaft Angle

At Impact (not OK) - the shaft is set back “negative” - this increases loft and bounce, decreases dig of leading edge. This makes you more likely to miss-hit the shot.

 Keith Williams holding a golf club leaning forwards in an orange shirt


Short Game Shaft Angle

At Impact (OK) - the club shaft is slightly “loaded”, i.e. forward - this decreases loft and bounce and adds dig of the leading edge. This tends to produce a lower ball flight.


Short Game Setup TriangleKieth Williams swinging a golf club in an orange shirt

I want you to be clear about one image that will be referred to throughout this lesson. This “triangle” is set at address. It is in front of the body, with the left arm straight and the right arm slightly bent. During the swing action it stays in front of the body. Keep this triangle in mind when you practice to help you improve your technique.

Short Game Body Setup

Upper body - at address or impact the more the centre of the chest is positioned in front (towards target) of the ball, the lower the ball flight.

Hands - generally the more forward they are at impact, the lower the ball flight.

Lower body stance - generally the shorter the shot to be played the narrower the stance.  Shifting the left hip (at address or during the swing) more towards the target will move the weight into the left side.




If you enjoyed reading the Short Game - Fundamentals, have a look at our Short Game - Speciality Shots, or the Short Game Pocketshots downloadable video.


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