Short Game Skills Test: How Will You Score?

If you want to know how good your short game is, then you’ll want to put it to the test by taking a short game skills test. The scoring system is designed around how well a professional golfer would score if they took this same short game test.

We can look at professional golfer’s statistics to see things like make percentages on the putting green from various distances away from the hole. We can also look at the average distance their ball is from the hole when hitting chip shots, pitch shots, bunker shots, and other wedge shots between 20 yards and 100 yards away from the green.

After hitting a high number of chips and putts, if you can get your averages similar to the professionals, then you have a pretty solid short game skillset.

This short game test will highlight your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll be able to see areas that need improved upon and you can seek out specific short game golf drills that work on those areas of your game.

Resource: Golf Practice System with Step by Step Practice Plans + Video Lessons

Short Game Skills Test Practice Plan

You’ll work in sets of 10 reps, meaning you’ll hit 10 shots at each station and calculate your distance from hole averages or make percentages for each, depending on what it calls for, and then calculate your handicap ability based off your score.

Here are the stations you’ll rotate through to test your short game:

  • 3 foot putts
  • 6 foot putts
  • 10 foot putts
  • 30 foot lag putts
  • 45 foot lag putts
  • 60 foot lag putts
  • Fringe chipping to a hole 15 feet away
  • Fringe chipping to a hole 30 feet away
  • Fringe chipping to a hole 45 feet away
  • Chipping from Rough (5 yards away from green, 20 feet of green to hole)
  • Chipping from Rough (5 yards away from green, 40 feet of green to hole)
  • Chipping from Rough (5 yards away from green, 60 feet of green to hole)
  • Pitching from Rough (10 yards away from green, 15 feet of green to hole)
  • Pitching from Rough (15 yards away from green, 15 feet of green to hole)
  • Wedge Shots 20 yards, 40 yards, 60 yards, 80 yards, 100 yards
  • Bunker shots

Instructions & Scoring System

Putts Made Percentage

For the 3ft, 6ft, and 12ft putts your goal is to try to make as many putts as you can out of 10 at each of these 3 distances. After you hit 10 putts from 3ft, for example, calculate your made percentage (7 out of 10 = 70%). Do this for each of the 3 distances.

Professional golfers score high at 3 feet, making nearly 100% of their putts.

At 6 feet from the hole, the professional golfer make percentage drops to 70% on average, however the best players average in the 90% range still.

At 10 feet, the Tour Average is 42%, so 4 out of every 10 putts are holed by professionals from this distance. The players ranking highest average in the 50-65% from 10 feet.

Putts Made Scoring:

3 Feet

  • 100% – Professional
  • 90% – Scratch Golfer
  • 80% – Advanced
  • 50-70% – Average
  • Less than 50% – Beginner

6 Feet

  • 70-100% – Professional
  • 60% – Scratch Golfer
  • 50% – Advanced
  • 30-40% – Average
  • Less than 30% – Beginner

10 Feet

  • 50 to 100% – Professional
  • 40% – Scratch Golfer
  • 30% – Advanced
  • 20% – Average
  • Less than 20% – Beginner

Resource: Golf Practice System with Step by Step Practice Plans + Video Lessons

Lag Putting – Average Distance to Hole

For the lag putts from 30ft, 45ft, and 60ft, you’ll hit 10 putts at each distance and measure the distance remaining to the hole after each putt. The goal is to get your average distance to less than 3 feet.

Any putts made during this drill would be counted as “0” feet from the hole.

Lag putting is all about speed control. You want lag putts to finish as close to the hole as possible so you can have a short putt for your next shot on the golf course and avoid 3 putting during your rounds of golf.

Lag Putt Scoring:

Keep track of how many putts out of 10 are within 3 feet of the hole at each distance. Total all 3 distances (30ft, 45ft, 60ft) for a total of 30 possible putts and see how you scored.

  • Professional – 100% (30 out of 30 inside of 3 feet)
  • Scratch Golfer – 80% (24 out of 30)
  • Advanced – 70% (21 out of 30)
  • Average – 60% (18 out of 30)
  • Beginner – 50% or less (0 to 15 out of 30)

Fringe Chipping

For this area of the short game skills test, you’ll pick a spot on the fringe to chip from and measure out distances to mark with a tee (15 feet, 30 feet, and 45 feet).

If there happens to be a hole that is the right distance away from the fringe then you could chip to the hole, but a tee will also work so you can get the exact distances.

The goal is to chip the ball from the fringe and get it onto the green so that it finishes within 3 feet or less of the tee / hole.

Hit 10 chips at each distance, for a total of 30 chips when you’re done with all 3 distances. Count how many balls were chipped inside 3 feet out of 30 total chips.

Fringe Chipping Scoring:

  • Professional – 90% (27 out of 30 inside of 3 feet)
  • Scratch Golfer – 80% (24 out of 30)
  • Advanced – 70% (21 out of 30)
  • Average – 60% (18 out of 30)
  • Beginner – 50% or less (0 to 15 out of 30)

Chipping from the Rough (5 Yards)

For this test, you’ll need to measure two different distances to start. One will be how far into the rough you go, away from the green, to chip. The other will be how far the hole is away from the edge of the green so you can create a short distance hole, a medium distance, and far distance hole away from you.

Start off measuring 5 yards away from the green into the rough so you’re chipping from rough and not fringe.

Then measure on the green different hole distances of 20 feet, 40 feet and 60 feet from the greens edge. Mark these hole distances with a tee or use a real hole on the green if the distance happens to work out if you’re lucky.

Rough Chipping Scoring:

  • Professional – 90% (27 out of 30 inside of 3 feet)
  • Scratch Golfer – 80% (24 out of 30)
  • Advanced – 70% (21 out of 30)
  • Average – 60% (18 out of 30)
  • Beginner – 50% or less (0 to 15 out of 30)

Pitching from Rough (10-15 Yards)

Pitching is when you get further away from the green and have to carry the ball farther to get it onto the green. In this case, we will have you testing your skills at pitch shots from 10 yards and 15 yards off the green.

On the putting green, measure out 15 feet from the greens edge and mark it with a tee to serve as your hole you are chipping to. Or find a real hole in the green that happens to be 15 feet from the greens edge, if you’re lucky.

Now you’ve got a pitch shot that must fly 10 yards to get onto the green, and then only has 15 feet of green to stop quickly to finish by the hole. And for the next distance, you’ll move back to 15 yards and repeat.

The goal is to get your pitches within 3 feet of the hole or less. You’ll have 20 pitches total, 10 at each distance off the green.

Pitching from 10-15 Yards Scoring:

  • Professional – 90% (18 out of 20 inside of 3 feet)
  • Scratch Golfer – 75% (15 out of 20)
  • Advanced – 60% (12 out of 20)
  • Average – 45% (9 out of 20)
  • Beginner – 30% or less (0 to 6 out of 20)

Wedge Shots from 20-100 Yards

For this skills test, you’ll measure distances between 20 to 100 yards on a golf course, practice green, or driving range, depending on what’s available to you.

You’ll be testing how close you can get your wedge shots to the hole on average. You’ll need a tape measure to make things quicker and easier.

At each distance, you’ll hit 10 shots and measure the distance remaining to the hole of those 10 shots to come up with a total distance of all 10 that can then be divided by 10 to find the average.

For example, at 20 yards if you hit shots with distances remaining to the hole of 10, 15, 10, 5, 20, 15, 10, 5, 5, 5, then these 10 shots would total up to 100 feet. After dividing by 10 shots, the average distance would be 10 feet to the hole.

Repeat this for 20 yards, 40 yards, 60 yards, 80 yards, and 100 yards to find your average distance to the hole from these 5 distances.

Wedge Shot Scoring:

20 Yards

  • 6 Feet or Less – Professional
  • 6 to 9 Feet – Scratch Golfer
  • 9 to 15 Feet – Advanced
  • 15 to 21 Feet – Average
  • Above 21 Feet – Beginner

40 Yards

  • 12 Feet or Less – Professional
  • 12 to 24 Feet – Scratch Golfer
  • 24 to 36 Feet – Advanced
  • 36 to 48 Feet – Average
  • Greater than 48 Feet – Beginner

60 Yards

  • 20 Feet or Less – Professional
  • 20 to 30 Feet – Scratch Golfer
  • 30 to 40 Feet – Advanced
  • 40 to 50 Feet – Average
  • Greater than 50 Feet – Beginner

80 Yards

  • 20 Feet or Less – Professional
  • 20 to 30 Feet – Scratch Golfer
  • 30 to 40 Feet – Advanced
  • 40 to 50 Feet – Average
  • Greater than 50 Feet – Beginner

100 Yards

  • 25 Feet or Less – Professional
  • 25 to 35 Feet – Scratch Golfer
  • 35 to 45 Feet – Advanced
  • 45 to 60 Feet – Average
  • Greater than 60 Feet – Beginner

Bunker Shots

Last but not least in this skills challenge is testing your ability to escape sand bunkers around the greens. Professional golfers can hit out of sand and get the ball close to the hole at a very high level. If you struggle with sand bunkers, spend some time watching videos to learn the technique to hit out of sand bunkers and it will become much easier for you.

Test your ability out of 10 shots and see how many end up within 6 feet or less of the hole.

Sand Bunker Scoring:

  • Professional – 90% (9 out of 10 inside of 6 feet)
  • Scratch Golfer – 70% (7 out of 10)
  • Advanced – 50% (5 out of 10)
  • Average – 20% (2 out of 10)
  • Beginner – 20% or less (0 to 6 out of 20)

Golf Practice System for Lower Scores

Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.

Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.

Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.

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Work hard,

Nick Foy, Instructor

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