Short Game Practice – 5 Feet Game

This is my favourite game to play when I practice and I’ll often play this game 2 or 3 times during the practice session with different clubs each time.  I switch up between my 52 degree, 56 degree and 60 degree wedges. Depending on the course I’m preparing to play I would add in a 9-iron as well leading up to that tournament.

How to Play:

  1. Grab 5 balls and drop them in an area. Play the ball as it lies. Do not give yourself perfect lies – that’s not golf.
  2. Pick a Hole and chip 5 balls to that hole
  3. Count how many shots finished 5 feet or closer (ex. 3/5)
  4. Pick a new location and new hole and do it again (mix the shots between easy, medium and hard)
  5. Continue until you get 25 shots inside 5 feet and count your total number of shots taken. That will be your score. (ex. 25/70)

As mentioned earlier, when I play this game I’ll use the same club for all the shots and then play again with a new club.  I’d like you to learn how to use one club to hit different kinds of shots – learn to hit it high, low, with a lot of spin, with less spin, etc. If you can learn how to manipulate the tool to hit various kinds of shots you’re ability to problem solve on the course will improve. You’ll also feel more confident in your ability to make something happen.

Why do I use 5 feet?

Obviously your make percentage from putting 5 feet and in should be really high so you’re going to get up and down a lot if you are hitting a high percentage of shots inside 5 feet. But it’s also because that’s the stat I use to compare my short game ability to a Tour Pro on It’s important that you have an idea, and I encourage you to take notes of your scores, of where your skill level currently is and to know if it’s improving. Track your progress and if you’re scores keep getting better you will feel more confident around the greens during your rounds.

You’ll see from the picture above that I’m only hitting 37% inside 5 feet over my last 10 rounds. That’s low for me and shows me that I need to put some more time into that part of my game.  Knowing your stats and tracking some data during practice can really help you improve your game but that’s for another post. In the chart below you’ll see my starts from 2018 where I was right at 50% inside 5 feet from 50 yards and in.

When I do this practice game I’m always trying to score better than 45 for total shots hit (25/45) and if I’m getting above 45 and close to 50 it’s a good indication for me that I need to put some work in on my short game.

If you have the ability to practice this game at different courses or practice areas I highly recommend doing that. More variety will help your problem solving skills on the golf course.

Have fun and play well!


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