Have you ever tried chipping with one eye? Or, as a matter of fact, doing something completely different than what you normally do? It really is a challenge to break muscle memory, but the experiment is worth the effort. For many serious golfers (yes I am talking to you Kevin, Josh, Rick, Brian, Mike, Zeb, Blair, Jeff, Skip, Mac….okay, I will stop now because you get my point) trying something new is an important step to improvement. And chipping with one eye is something that everyone should try.
I try this technique at least once a year. I am left eye dominant and as such, I need to make sure that my set up during any chip is perfect for solid contact. Over the course of the season, it is easy to let my set up change because of the uneven ground, use of a different wedge, or focusing on the wrong thing. Regardless of the reason, I know this is a challenge to my game, so I devised the one eye chipping drill.
I have not shown or discussed this drill before because I thought it was unique to my game. But after some thinking, I thought I would share it and see what you think. I recommend you complete each step in the order they are described below:
- Pace 15 steps to the pin. Ensure you are at least 3 paces off the green. Make sure the ball is on the fairway like grass.
- Take 18 balls and chip with your favorite club. It would be very helpful if you had 3 groups of 6 balls and each group was a different color or can be identified in a particular manner.
- Set up as per normal. Keep both eyes open. Chip 6 balls and try to make each shot. Close is not good enough. Try to sink every shot. Notice if you are left, right or dead on the pin.
- Close your lead eye. Make your set up. Make sure your lead eye stays closed. Take the next 6 balls and chip to the pin. Close is not good enough. Try to sink every shot. Notice if you are left, right or dead on the pin.
- Close your trail eye. Make your set up. Make sure your trail eye stays closed. Take the next 6 balls and chip to the pin. Close is not good enough. Try to sink every shot. Notice if you are left, right or dead on the pin.
- Now look at where you balls ended up. Mostly, pay attention to their position in relation to the pin. If a specific group of 6 balls are left or right, take note in relation to whether their eyes were open or closed.
So what does all of this mean? Which ever group is closest to the pin is the set up you need moving forward. This may seem a bit odd, but I will connect the dots in a moment.
In my case, my dominant eye is my lead eye. Over time, I have a tendency to move the ball up in my stance while chipping. My first indication is that I pull the ball left during chips. It becomes very obvious that something is up with my chipping when my ball continues to go left over the space of a full round or two.
Now back to the drill. If your ball is tracking directly to the pin with both your eyes open, then change nothing. If your left or right eye has the most balls closest to the pin, that is the set up you need to adopt. Go back to your original position, set up your shot with the eye/eyes that produced the best results.
Open both eyes and look at the ball position relating to your feet. Now chip all 18 balls and you should find that most of the balls will track towards the pin. The only thing left to worry about is the distance.
The one eye chipping drill works. It is a unique way to align your chip without any special tools or tricks. Do not change your stroke, just the ball position. It works for me and maybe it will work for you.
Let me know!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!