For the past month I have used my DIY chipping mat in my basement. I thought I would get a jump start on my short game practice time this year and I find it very beneficial. I try to hit 100 balls a day, but sometimes that is a challenge. My repetitive practice has allowed me to identify some of chipping woes I developed last year and engineer a solution. Overall, I would say that my practice time is well worth the investment of time.
As I embarked on my practice sessions, I needed to address my one challenge of helping the ball during a short chip. I am not sure where this hitch developed from, but I found that I was trying to scoop the ball on my intended target line. As a result, my chips were coming up short and off line. It was very frustrating to say the least.
With a challenge identified, I proceeded to try various fixes to rectify my issue. I did not use the random approach of just trying anything, I started with my stance and worked my way up. It was a pretty methodical process and I was quickly able to isolate that my wrists were far to active for short chips.
Next, I went on line and looked a several videos and read several articles. Locking my wrists was the obvious solution and so I focused on keeping my wrists locked. The distance I was chipping (5 yards) did not require anything more that a knee high back swing or follow through. Yet, my fix was not as easy as mimicking what I watched. I needed to adjust their recommendations to fit my swing.
After two sessions, this is what I came up with and continue to use with increasing success:
- I place 80% of my weight on my lead foot;
- I flare my lead foot out 45 degrees and place my back foot so it is parallel to my target. Both of my heels form a line towards a spot left of my target (about 2 yards);
- I place my gap wedge behind the ball so the grooves are parallel with my trail foot;
- I grip down on the club so my bottom hand is only two inches above the bottom of the grip;
- I point the top of my club at my lead hip. This movement I found to be the most important of the entire process. By pointing my club in this manner, I am in a natural position with my hands ahead of the ball;
- Now that I am in position, I lock my wrists and keep this position throughout the entire swing.
The results of my pointing the top of my gap wedge and locking my wrists through the swing has greatly improved my success of chipping my practice ball into the chipping net. I find I make solid consistent contact with a ball flight of about 3 to 4 feet. It is perfect for what I am looking for in my short chips.
Although I looked a many videos, here are a couple I think you will find helpful:
I still have about 3 or 4 weeks before we are hitting the links (of course I hope sooner) so my indoor chipping practice is very important to getting a quick start to my season. I have found success addressing last year’s woes and intend on reinforcing my success by continuing what I have developed.
Do you keep your wrists locked on a short chip of 5 yards or less?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!