Tips For Sticks

If you’re a low-handicapper, here’s how to fix your most common faults

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Good players need to find lots of opportunities to shave strokes, and this drill will help do that. First, I should note that you should be a confident, better player to pull off this drill. Chipping golf balls off a putting green can damage your golf course and anger everyone, from the greenskeeper to regular foursomes.

The key point with this drill is to help you understand how to use your sand wedge's bounce so it can slide through impact. And for that to happen, the shaft has to be in the proper position at impact. If it's too far forward, the leading edge will dig—and damage—the green. If it's too far back, the leading edge will strike the ball first and blade it off the green.

The ideal position for a clean strike is with the shaft leaning slightly forward. This will give you a clean clip and proper trajectory. This impact position also will give you more margin for error when your contact with the ball is less than ideal.

Once you've mastered the feeling of correctly using bounce, concentrate on trying to sink your chips. Aiming at a hole and chipping it like a putt helps you develop "make" mentality. You're a better player, so remember you don't want to get it close; you want to hole it. And if you're a good player who wants to get even better, you've got to train your mind to always try to make it when you're around the green. If you don't, I guarantee you that one of your opponents will.


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