Jason Dufner: 40 yard short game

Jason Dufner demonstrates how to hit his 40 yard shot.


This shot here, I've got about 25 feet of green from the fringe. So I don't need to really get a lot of juice, but I want to get a good amount of spin.

You like the ball to stop.

I like it to stop. Stop control. Stop.

Not going up there like a bowling ball.

No. And a lot of what we talked about in my full swing, on my golf swing channel, is relevant to the golf swing-- or to the short game stuff. I want to have good width, good club face relation in my back swing, because that sets me up to be successful down below. I'm good enough that subconsciously I feel, oh, this club face is too shut. I need to get a scoop to get it up to do these things.

You're wide and you're rotating that club face a little clockwise.

Toe up. That's what I want. And sometimes I don't do it great. This elbow gets behind me, my face gets shut, and I get a weird contact, I get a weird spin rate. You see it on TV all the time, when guys hit shots it's more the technique that's kind of failing than the nerves and all these things. And maybe they're related-- nerves equal bad technique. But with this shot, same type of thing.

This ball's kind of towards the middle of my stance. I can drive this one a little bit. Nice width, nice turn. I'm using my torso again-- rotation, rotation, rotation. It's a pretty big theme with me. And I'm going to have a nice open club face and kind of hit that little grab and stop shot.

That's the shot that we talked about earlier, the one that you like that skips one or two and then grabs.

And then I can go-- if I need to hit a little bit higher-- Let's say the fringe was you another five feet in and I've got to go higher, I'm going to go up in the face, open the face. I'm going to go more sweep.

You threw it up there. The big grab, right?

Big grab. So you know there are just little variations. Off of that pinch and off of that sweep, I would say inside, of 40 yards.

Everything you've built around your wedges, your short game, is to make the ball grab. You've got a spinner shaft, you take a wide action, you've taken all the power out of the stroke, all rotation.

All the power comes from my rotation.

Rotation, which is slower than, say, hands.

I think it's simple, too. Baseline, baseline, basic. And when I practice I don't go out here and work on the trick shots and the difficult angles. I want to work on my baseline stuff and make that perfect, and then work off of that. Because I've played enough and I've practiced enough that I know when the ball is below my feet, above my feet, what I have to do-- what the adjustments are, right? With me, it's always how good is my baseline stuff, and then how good can I adjust when I need to adjust.

And you feel like, if your baseline is in there really nicely, that means you're really high up there on your technique scale, you'll be able to hit all the other shots.

Correct. Because the motion isn't really changing that much. This shot is from 40 yards. We just had one that was from five. And it's a bigger motion, but I haven't made a different type of golf swing. I'm still thinking about the same thing, I'm still thinking about that right shoulder turning.

Because everyone will be able to see that you almost made that one. But you do your same routine as you do with your driver right here. You put your right foot in, you've got one foot on the one hand, right foot, left foot, right foot.

Always the same. Now I might move up. I need to hit this one higher. That probably had twice the height since the last one.

And you're looking for just enough spin to make this ball stop, not spin back or anything like that.

Sometimes we get in situations on the PGA tour where you need more spin. So what do I feel when I spin more? I feel like I'm throwing this thing left. Throwing it left. I don't want it to pass my left arm. I'm throwing it this way, almost like I'm chopping wood.

Would that be more acceleration?


On the same angle?

More speed equals more spin.

On the same angle.