A popular misconception is that the short game requires a short swing. As a result, chips, pitches, and sand shots are hit with short, stabby strokes that produce skulls, fat shots, and general misdirection.
You should think long, slow, and smooth for the short game. Precision is important around the green, so there isn't much margin for error. It's vital that you maintain a steady, smooth rhythm and tempo for every short shot you hit. Forcing yourself to make a short swing because you have to move the ball a short distance throws off your timing.
Instead, try counting through each short shot you hit. Count "one, two, three": "one" as you start the club away from the ball, "two" when you reach the top of the swing, and "three" as you swing through. From 40-yard pitch shots to delicate chips off the apron, maintain the same count. You'll find it much easier to make consistently solid contact.
Private Lessons 1999 Time4 Media, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.