Short Game Masters - Six of the Best
The history of golf is littered with examples of exceptional short game exponents, and luckily we aren't short of a few within the modern golfing landscape either.
There is a fine line between a good and a great golfer with the difference often centring around the player's ability around the greens. Bogeys can become pars; pars become birdies and, with a great short game, history can be written and rewritten in an instant.
Let's take a look at six of the best short game masters who have astounded us with their magical wedge play through the years.
The all-time 'short game master' title can only go to the late, great Seve Ballesteros.
The Spaniard was one of golf's most charismatic and gifted players, and his creative shot-making remains unrivalled within the modern game. Winning five major championships and more than 70 tournaments worldwide also requires a well-rounded game and Seve had the lot.
With that said, his ability in and around the greens shines brightest, and we remember his crowd-pleasing individuality with great fondness.
Fancy some short game tips from the man himself?
Running Seve close is probably the most talented short-game player still on Tour - Phil Mickelson.
'Lefty' is genius personified around the greens and there is rarely a more pleasing sight in the game than watching him escape trouble that makes fools of us mere mortals with consummate ease.
His pitches and chips are sensational, but Mickelson is synonymous with the flop shot. As we all know, it's not an easy shot to master but have a look below at his 'How To' video and, simply, Phil being Phil.
It's unlikely that a player often viewed as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) would be placed on such a lofty pedestal without possessing a strong short game.
He is the archetypal pressure player. When the chips are down Tiger can come up with a miracle shot and astound us all. None will be more memorable than the miraculous chip-in at the 16th hole at Augusta which helped the great man capture a fourth green jacket.
Catch five of Tiger's best below.
To this day, Player advocates fitness and nutrition within golf and the man himself is reaping the benefits of a life dedicated to self-preservation.
You can't help but be impressed by such an outlook on life with the same said of his immaculate short game skill. In particular, his bunker play is on entirely another level and many view the South African as the best in history when it came to escaping the dreaded sand.
The nine-time major champion relied on all his wizardry from around the green to become one of only five players in the post-Masters era to have achieved the career grand slam.
Here's Mr Player talking about the short game. When he talks, we listen.
One of the best-loved players in golf, Tom Watson enjoyed a lengthy love affair with the game. His ability to mix it with the young guns over time is thanks in no small part to his short game prowess.
Never one for the 'Hollywood' shot, Watson's approach around the greens was one of simplicity. With eight major championships to his name, it proves to us all that there is more than one way to get it done.
Watch Watson chip in to claim the 1982 U.S. Open below:
Lee Trevino won 27 times on the PGA Tour and picked up six major championships. And. of course, he's one of the finest of all time with the short sticks.
Similar to Waston, he was a fan of keeping things simple unless the situation called for something out of the ordinary. One of his famous shots was the 'burning wedge shot' - a low trajectory, high spin shot which wowed many galleries throughout the years.
Here, Trevino has some great wedge play tips for us all:
Who is your favourite short game master of all time? Have we missed any from our list? Let us know in the comments below.