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Short Game Secrets is a collection of videos from wedge expert James Ridyard and putting guru John Graham.
A few months ago, I brought you my review of the James Ridyard’s excellent videos, The Wedge Game 2.0. Today I’m taking a look at his original package of videos, Short Game Secrets, which he produced with putting expert John Graham. These seven videos cover everything from 100 yards to the hole and can certainly help any golfer shoot lower scores.
The seven videos included in this package are loaded with quality content. Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll get in each one.
Practical Green Reading
If you’ve never taken an Aimpoint green reading course, this video will be a game changer for you. John Graham breaks down the three variables involved in break, putting geometry, and much more. Depending on your current understanding of reading greens, this may be the video you come back to more than any other.
If you’re looking for a bunch of simple, Golf Digest-style putting tips, you are not going to like this video. However, if you’re interested in being educated about the components of a consistent, quality putting stroke and how to develop them, you’ll love it.
John Graham methodically covers the elements of putting, stroke types, set up, and also throws in a half dozen practice drills that he uses with the professional player that he teaches.
A lot of what is covered in the original Scrambling video is similar to what James Ridyard covers in Scrambling 2.0. It starts out with the mechanics for the five different ball flights – low, low/medium, medium, high/medium, and high. To me, this short segment alone is worth the price of admission.
Beyond the facts of how to play these shots, Ridyard covers the decision making process that will help you choose when to play each one. He outlines a simple procedure and then demonstrates it in a number of scenarios. For the recreational golfer, this is easily the best of the Short Game Secrets videos.
After watching this video, you’ll wonder why you were ever so terrified of bunkers. Ridyard explains the mechanics of the basic bunker shot first, then covers the special situations that arise in bunkers. He touches on everything from plugged lies to long bunker shots in a systematic way that will leave you confident in your ability to get up and down from any sandy lie.
This video covers wedge shots from 30 to 100 yards. Ridyard starts by breaking down what the best players in the world do with these shots, and then explains how you can copy them. He includes two important drills that will help you to control your distances and closes by explaining how to put more spin on your wedge shots.
7 Deadly Situations
This video is a more recent addition to the Short Game Secrets line up. It features James Ridyard using his methodical approach to break down situations like being stuck under the lip of a bunker or pitching off a bare lie. This is a very useful resource for the higher handicap and an excellent test for the better player who wants to check their strategy and thinking against one of the best.
Drills & Games
This final piece of the series is simply a collection of 36 drills – 18 with the putter, 18 with the wedge. There’s a solid mix of technical drills and scoring, game-like drills, so everyone will be able to find something that they enjoy. I think it’s an excellent capstone to the series because it gives you concrete things to do with your new knowledge.
With the exception of “Games and Drills,” the Short Game Secrets videos run between 27 and 45 minutes and are packed with information. Each video is broken down into segments that are just a few minutes long and end with a graphic restating the key points. This makes the information easy to digest and allows the videos to be watched a little bit at a time.
My one criticism is that the studies of professional golfers, seen in only a couple of the videos in this series, are overly long and a bit hard to watch. There isn’t much happening on the screen, and, personally, I don’t need to see Steve Stricker or Sergio Garcia to validate the information.
Overall, both James Ridyard and John Graham are very watchable because they pack so much knowledge into these videos. I prefer the wedge videos because Ridyard is a superior presenter, and I prefer watching wedge shots to putts, but the information in the putting videos is equally valuable.
All seven Short Games Secrets videos are currently available for the price of just $99 (individually they would cost $160). Even if you take only one or two things from this series, it would be a solid investment in your game. Ridyard and Graham cover a huge range of topics and these videos are sure to help you improve your scores.