Knock It Tight!

Six Tips To Get Up And Down

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My good friend and mentor Mike LaBauve once told me a story about watching Greg Norman practice at the U.S. Open. The “Shark” was practicing in the chipping area, but he wasn’t hitting any shots. Rather, he was tossing balls underhand to the flag. Why? Well, Norman was trying to toss the ball at the perfect height, so it would land in the right spot to release the proper distance to the flag. After he found the shot he was looking for, he reached into his bag, selected the appropriate club and swung in a way that repli-cated his toss.

Most golfers just grab a club and swing away without any definitive notion of what they really want. The ball-toss drill is maybe the best thing you can do to learn to think, see shots and make decisions like a pro!


• Use your imagination
• Incorporate this drill regularly into your practice sessions


Setting up for a pitch shot is simple. All you have to do is play the ball in the center of your feet and adopt a slightly narrower stance with your weight favoring your front foot. Although there are varying methodologies as it relates to “shifting of weight” in the golf swing, you’ll find that all theories encourage the weight to stay on the front foot throughout the entirety of the pitching motion.

Just as in chipping, it’s imperative that your forward-weight lean include both your upper and lower body. To ensure a proper forward lean, try this drill: Reach down with your left hand and touch your left knee (right-handed golfer). By practicing this drill, you’ll notice that your weight will move left and your shoulders will stay level. This weight-and-shoulder position encourages your swing arc to bottom out just forward of the ball, thus creating ball-then-turf contact.


• Ball Centered
• Slightly narrower stance
• Weight favors front foot

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Look, Then Chip


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