Control Your Chip Shots

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS: Stop the Sway! & Make the Hole look bigger!

Doug Hammer Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) -- Nothing destroys a good round like poor short game shots. Specifically, those short little chip shots that should simply be a formality. The pros make those shots seem like child?s play and, oftentimes, throw their arms in the air in disgust when left with a three inch putt instead of making the first shot attempt! So, why then do we struggle so much with those shots, especially when the match is on the line? I will try to explain this terrible phenomenon and give you an excellent drill to avoid that killer mistake in the future.

The Flamingo Drill will help your balance around the greens.
Thin and Fat shots around the green always seem to occur at the most inopportune time. Actually, is there EVER an opportune time?? Likely not but there is a consistent reason why poor chip shots occur. Under pressure, we tend to want to help the ball into the air for that short little shot and guide it into the hole. We just can?t do that in golf. The ball is on the clubface for such a small amount of time that trying to control the flight is a recipe for disaster.

A good chip shot has two basic characteristics:

1. The ball is hit with a downward strike.

2. There is more roll time than air time.

In order to create these dynamics, we adjust two main things in our setup:

1. The hands are forward pressed to de-loft the club

2. We lean the spine toward the target so that our weight stays anchored on the forward foot.

It is important that you create both of these set-up keys and MAINTAIN them throughout the shot. This is the key. All too often I see amateurs lose the forward press in their hands (flipping the club) and let their weight leave their front to only to end up hitting the ball off their back foot. Next time you are practicing your chipping, or simply need to "nail" the chip on the course, try the Flamingo Drill.

Take your normal chipping set-up and then simply lift your back leg (right leg for right handed golfers). Practice hitting chip shots and maintain your balance. You will be able to tell immediately if you are trying to shift your weight or flip your wrists at the shot. Practice this drill regularly to perfect your chip shots. And, remember, nothing in the rules says you can?t take this to the golf course. Your buddies may give you hard time but if you chip it close all day, I bet you end up playing with a regular group of flamingoes by the end of the week!

Doug Hammer * Director of Instruction * Troon North Golf Club p 480-585-5300 ext. 251 * f 480-585-5161 * 10320 E Dynamite Blvd. * Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Managed by Troon Golf? *

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