Tom’s Tip of the week: Chipping tips

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, September 6th, 2019

TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

Great chipping has helped many players win golf tournaments. Here
are two photos from a clinic I did a few years back to highlight the
good and the bad side of chipping.

The photo on the left side shows the correct way to hit a chip
shot. Take special note that my left arm has formed a straight line
which I have highlighted. The important significance to chipping is
you never want your lead arm to break down or collapse when making the
stroke. In the photo you can clearly see my left wrist has remained
intact and sturdy as I make my way past impact which translates into a
well struck shot.

I am doing this drill with one arm to showcase the value your
lead arm plays in chipping.

In the photo on the right I’ve drawn a circle around my left hand
to illuminate a shot whereby my left wrist collapsed. This is a
typical shot you’ll see on a daily basis resulting in chunked shots or
skulled line drives skidding across the green. When under pressure
we’re all guilty of trying to control the club head and this
anxiousness will lead you down a path of disappointment.

When I’ve kept a solid firm left side I had no breakdown which
means my hands couldn’t outrun my clubface. Under intense scrutiny the
hands get fidgety and end up getting too involved in the shot which is
one of the reasons golfers try to scoop the ball or pick it off the
turf. Once your hands and wrists get too involved the momentum and
rhythm is destroyed and it’s difficult to recover.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating a tight locked straight left
arm because that would only add more tension. What you should work on
is keeping your left arm extended from start to finish on short chip
shots.

Remember the arms control your hands and wrists and not the other
way around.

Also, what triggers a great short game is having good footwork
which is an understated component that is crucial for success.
In the left photo I’ve drawn an arrow down my right pant leg to
illustrate how my right knee has kicked in forward towards the target.
This good lower body movement triggers a chain reaction where you
start the swing from the ground up. This action will automatically
pull the arms down to the ball into a shallower angle allowing you to
clip it perfectly without any manipulations from the hands. It’s a
fool proof way to take your hands out of the swing.

Finally, look at the difference in the photos at how well I am
staying down after the shot (in the left photo compared to the right)
where my left wrist has collapsed. My right shoulder is working down
and under through the ball in the left photo.

As you can plainly see I am coming out of my posture prematurely
in the right picture causing my head to lift up.

So give this simple drill a chance when you’re out practicing
because it will make a big difference in your ability to get the ball
up and down around the greens.
Having that type of shot-making ability in your arsenal will
ultimately lead to better scores.
Tom Ward can be reached at www.teetimewithtom.com

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