Left Turn

Hit successful chip shots!

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Notice how just postimpact, my hands are still leading ahead of the clubhead? It's a lot less than at address, but they're still slightly ahead of the clubhead. This indicates crisp ball-first contact and a controlled swing over my left side.

Forward shaft lean is a must for good chips. Use your left thigh as a guide.

Keep your weight forward as you chip. It will prevent you from hitting behind the ball.

Stack your impact! Don't let the clubhead pass the hands through the shot.

Finish with a turned body and your weight on your left side.

The other critical component for better chipping mechanics is to remember that although the chip shot is a short one, the body should still be engaged in the shot. This means, I like to see my students rotate their body with the shot. From down the line, you can see that my upper body has rotated away from the target on the backswing, then back toward the target on the forwardswing. If I were to seize up, I run the risk of collapsing my wrists, lifting up and, likely, hitting fat and thin shots.

If you follow these two basic fundamentals, and feel as though you have a good shaft lean and rotation in your stroke, the rest is up to you! Add as much hinge to your wrist as you'd like and align your stance open or square, depending on your personal preference and what looks and feels good to you. Just remember, once you find a particular chipping style, stick with it for all your shots. The last thing you want to do is hit every chip completely differently, since it makes hitting consistent chips almost impossible. Instead, master the fundamentals and hone in on your personal style. You'll start seeing better results in no time.

AJ Gaul, PGA, teaches at the Faldo Golf Institute at Marriott's Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert, Calif. Visit gofaldo.com for info.


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