You have to spend both time and money, but mostly time imo. Good clubs help to some degree but unless you really know what you are doing, the improvement will be minimal. I tend to suffer with my short game, chipping and putting on tournament greens. Usually dont put enough break on my putts or miscalculate the power needed. With chipping, unless you study the green contour carefully the ball can go 45 degrees away from the hole and leave a long putt to save par.
With better clubs you simply give yourself better opportunities to make birdie by getting on the green in regulation with long par 4s and keeping the ball on the green with adequate spin. The top clubs also allow people to reach moderate length par 5s with two strokes instead of three, giving the opportunity for eagle.