Pitch Right!

How to improve your chipping in two minutes' time

If you want to control your shots more effectively around the greens, the best thing you can do is set up with a narrow stance and always remember to keep the shaft leaning toward the target. Since it’s a chip shot, you don’t have to worry about releasing the club; instead, you want to hold the face square to ensure optimal directional control. This setup position also helps to avoid flubbed chipped shots—one of the most embarrassing and avoidable shots in golf.

Finish Factors

Look to the finish to end sliced shots

One of the best indicators of a good golf swing is the finish. If there’s balance when the swing is over, it means there was probably balance during the swing. Often, players who slice do so because they don’t finish correctly. See the photo of the finish below?

Knock It!

Practice makes perfect with this simple drill

Here’s another easy tip to apply the next time you’re on the putting green. Simply place a golf ball about six inches behind your ball and make a stroke. If you miss the ball (swinging either above it or to the side), then your backswing path is offline or too steep. Take a look at the illustration, and you’ll see that I actually knock the second ball as my putter swings back.

Plane Pains

Get your swing back on plane in a hurry

Talking about your swing plane is one thing, but seeing it on video is a whole lot better. Here at the TOUR Academy, we make an effort to film golfers from face on and down the target line so they can see for themselves whether_Ê their swing is on plane or not. The benefits my students get from seeing their swing plane on camera has greatly helped them improve.

Sweetspot: Luke Donald

Get your irons in check by observing one of the best ballstrikers in golf

Since his early days playing_Ê for England on two Walker Cup teams and making noise as an NCAA star at Northwestern, Luke Donald has had PGA Tour success in his sights. Having already cracked the top-60 in career earnings with more than $12 million to his credit, you’d have to say he’s right on track.

Through The Gates

Putting really shouldn't be any more complicated than this

In my many years of teaching, I’ve read, heard, seen and been told a number of putting tips that, I feel, only serve to overcomplicate what should be a simple motion. I think putting is just rolling the ball, so I like to keep things simple. Here, I’m practicing a drill that helps me keep the ball on the right path. All I do is place two golf balls about six inches apart, and a foot in front of my ball, and then make a stroke.

On-Path Pitching

A 10-foot piece of string is all you need to get your pitching on target.

One of the keys to accurate pitching is getting the clubhead moving consistently down the target line. A great way to practice this is to take a 10-foot piece of string and stretch it out directly on the target line of a pitch shot._Ê

Keep It Stable!

Why solid putting demands a stable base.

If you want to become a better putter, you have to learn to stabilize the lower body as much as possible. All great putters have a rock-steady lower half and swing the putter from above the waist. Now, deciding whether you’re a hands-driven putter or a shoulder-driven putter (or both!) is a matter of personal style, but one thing is for sure: No matter how you choose to swing with the upper body, the lower body must stay as still as possible.

Going Low

Jam Your Back Foot

In the last issue of Golf Tips, I showed you how to use the edge of a wall to help improve your chipping. This month, I’m going to show you how a simple household item, such as a doorjamb, can help you hit the ball farther.

Short Putts

The three simple keys to consistently sinking short putts are: making contact with the center of the putterface, making contact with a square putterface that’s on-line to the target and accelerating the clubhead through impact. If you learn to do these three things, your short putting, and overall putting, will improve quickly and should stay solid for good.