Chipping and putting are two areas of the game where everyone can improve. Improve your chipping and putting, and you'll significantly reduce your handicap. The touring pros spend more time practicing their short games than all of their other shots combined. How many weekend golfers can say the same?
The most important aspect of chipping is to make sure that your lead wrist doesn't break down during the chipping motion. The moment your wrist breaks down, two things happen: The loft of the club changes, which alters the trajectory and the roll (inconsistent distances will result); and your arm also breaks down, which can result in bladed shots that go screaming across the green.
To ensure that neither of these things happen, work on keeping your arm straight and your wrist firm during the shot. If you're having difficulties, place a rubber band around your lead wrist and slide the butt end of the club under it, holding the club close to your wrist. This will give you the correct feel when chipping the ball.
Golf instructor Mel Sole heads the Phil Ritson Golf School at Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.