Monday, November 1, 2004
25 Best Short-Game Tips Ever!
16. Stroke Chips
Try chipping with a true linear motion, just as you do when stroking a putt. This is a much easier motion than that required for a standard chip. First, hold your wedge in the same manner as you’d hold your putter, with the grip in your fingers and your thumbs running directly down the top of the shaft. Next, position your body over the ball and assume the same stance as you do when putting, with your eyes directly over the golf ball. To execute a true linear chipping “stroke,” simply rock your shoulders and sweep the clubhead back and then through. This linear movement will make those delicate pitch shots easier to control.
17. Chop It Out
If you find yourself with a treacherous lie in long, wet grass, consider the chop shot. With your most lofted club, address the ball so that it’s in the center of your stance and with the majority of your weight positioned over your front foot. As for the swing, just think about the motion you’d use to chop wood. Make both on the backswing and the downswing as steep as you can. The key to this shot is the lack of followthrough—swing to impact only. This will augment your steep arc and allow the loft of the club to carry the ball high and help it land softly.
18. Perfect Pitch
If you master the key elements of pitching and chipping, you’ll discover an immediate improvement in your scores. One of these key elements is to move your back knee toward your front knee as you transfer your weight to your front side on the downswing. The rear knee should move forward in time with the downward motion of the clubhead so that, at impact, your weight is evenly distributed over both sides of your body. The mental image of two cymbals placed on the inside of both knees clanging at the point of contact is one that helps many golfers attain a solid pitch impact position.
19. Apply Pressure
Consistent grip pressure during the putting stroke is crucial for good execution. One way to help maintain consistent grip pressure is to learn to create equal inward force in both hands. This should be a result of one hand applying inward force equal to that applied by the opposite hand throughout the stroke. On the takeaway (for right-handed golfers), the left hand should apply pressure toward the right hand while the right hand resists. On the forwardstroke, the right hand should push toward the left hand while the left hand provides equal and opposite resistance. To get a feel for this equal inward pressure, open your hands with your palms facing each other. Place a closed book between your two open palms and assume your putting stance. A dictionary should do the trick. Make a putting stroke back and through without dropping the book. Can you feel the equal inward pressure in both hands? While doing this drill, your shoulders should naturally rock back and forth. Learn the sensation of inward, even pressure with both hands, and your putting stroke—and scores—should improve dramatically.
20. Grip Weak For Strong Lobs
Few shots on the golf course are more satisfying than a well-executed flop shot. Unfortunately, unless you’re Phil Mickelson, the risk is probably not worth the reward. There’s very little margin for error. With the wrong lie, you can swing the club under the ball without advancing it. And, with such a big swing, you’re liable to hit an 80-yard screamer if you catch it thin. Here’s an alternative technique to try the next time you need a wedge shot to fly high and land softly. Weaken your left-hand grip (for right-handers), turning your hand under the club so that your left palm faces more toward the sky. With your left hand in this weakened position, the clubface will remain open through the hitting zone and your shot will be shorter and fly higher than normal and land like a butterfly with sore feet.
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