Tip From the Archives

Inconsistent Chips

Problem

The trajectories of your chip shots are very inconsistent.

Cure

First make sure the club is not turning in your hands. Second, be sure you are not using too much wrist movement or keeping your wrists completely immobile; you need a slight wrist hinge for a proper takeaway. Then think about your spine angle. When you change your spine angle, you change the loft angle of your chips. Another thing you should consider is to make sure you are setting up with your hands in the same position each time.

Therapy

One big mistake players make when they set up for a chip shot is that they lean away from the ball and target with too much weight placed on the trailing foot. This will make it harder to hit down on the ball with a steep enough swing. Set up to the ball with most of your weight on the forward leg. The end of the clubshaft should be leaning slightly towards the target. Feel free to allow your spine angle to lean up to two inches ahead of the ball but make sure your lower body remains in normal set up position throughout the swing. The best way to keep a consistent spine angle is to keep your head down throughout the entire swing. Making a short shot on the green can be terrifying because it matters so much to save par but you will change the trajectory if you are try to see where the ball is going before you complete your swing.

Inconsistent Chips

Problem

You suddenly cannot chip well. One minute you are digging the club deep into the ground and the next you shanking or skulling the ball.

Cure

Try to keep your lead wrist stable throughout your swing and do not take the club too far back. Use an exercise band around your lead wrist and club to help prevent your lead wrist from bending while you are practicing.

Therapy

If this problem is occurring while you are playing a match, lead your club into the ball by holding your forward wrist with your other hand. Grip the club as usual with your lead hand. Then place your trailing hand towards the butt of the grip so that the grip is against your palm and your fingers are touching just above your lead wrist. Now focus on making a simple swing by turning your chest, shoulders, and arms together back and down on the ball without breaking your wrist away from the club.

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