Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Sharpen Your Short Game
Now that you’re putting is refreshed and back in shape, don’t neglect the common chip shot that on some days, occurs more often than long putts do.
In this case, I have a simple chip from just off the green and I want the golf ball to fly at a medium height and roll a few feet forward toward the hole. To hit this shot, I place the ball in the back of my stance, just off the inside of my right toe. Now, here’s where I work some of my putting fundamentals into my chipping. Like a good putt, chipping requires you to keep the hands in as constant a position as possible to help produce predictable results. For this shot, I concentrate on keeping my hands ahead of the clubhead at all times, which like a putt, will help me to make solid impact time and time again. As with putting, I like to think of both hands working together and evenly through the stroke, so if you want to practice a few one-armed chips while holding a flat left wrist and a cocked right wrist as you swing, go right ahead. It’s a great way to get a feel for the individual roles the hands play as they coordinate together into one motion.
Unlike with putting however, my hips will have more rotation through the shot. That’s understandable, considering how much longer the club is and the strength I need to get the ball up onto the green. But other than that, my chipping stroke is a lot like my putting stroke. Practice the one-armed drills and get used to “putting your chips” as I’m doing here. You’ll quickly see that improving your chips will lead to shorter putts, which with these fundamentals, you’ll be making a lot more of.
Dale Abraham is the director of instruction at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit desertmountain.com.
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