I'm sure you're familiar with the famous Sam Snead tip, Hear your putts. To ensure that he didn't come out of his putts too early, the Slammer held fast in his putting posture until he hopefully heard the ball rattle the bottom of the cup.
When a golfer rises out of the stance prematurely while putting, he or she invariably ruins the path of the stroke. Hear your putts has always been one of my favorite quick tips, and I recently discovered an additional use for this sage advice to help golfers save strokes during the chipping motion.
I see too many golfers rise up and out of the posture too early while chipping. Coming out of your posture too early while chipping will not only destroy the path of your swing, but will increase the likelihood of hitting the chip thin, sending the ball scurrying to the other side of the green.
Hear your chips. By that, I mean remain in your chipping posture until you hear the ball land on the green. If you can tune your ear into the sound of the ball hitting the putting surface, you'll recognize the thump sound the ball makes as it finishes its downward arc and strikes the ground. If you wait for this sound, you'll guarantee staying with the shot well through impact.
PGA teaching professional Barry Goldstein is the director of golf at Polar Shot Golf Center in Johnson City, N.Y. He also instructs at Inverrary Golf Club in Lauderhill, Fla.