Golf is a funny game. I bet at this very moment you are making a list or running through scenarios that support this statement. This crazy game is infinitely simple, yet extremely complex. It is not a game that can be force to create a different outcome, but a game that requires a steady, focused, calm demeanour to be successful. Specifically, the fastst way to flub a chip shot is to try and help your swing through to completion. It never works and I have thousands of helpful moments that prove my point!
During my many years of playing golf, my chipping challenges basically fall into one category; I try to help the ball to the hole. This failing on my part still rears its ugly head, but less now than in the past. What exactly do I mean by helping myself chip? That is a great question!
In my case, as I make contact with the ball I pick the club up fast instead following through with my swing motion. I think I am helping with the chip when all I am doing is serving up some chili.
You would think that as a low handicapper, I would have this kind of poor chipping under control, but there it is. Everyone has challenges of ones sort or another and this one is mine. I do have a fix for this poor technique that has worked for many years.
What I do is take a few practice swings where I take the club head back only a slightly shorter than normal distance and accentuate my follow through so my club goes at least above my knees. This motion forces me to keep my head still and ensure my arms stay on the right plane. The results is solid contact on the proper position on my club face. I am sure you are saying that I should use this technique all the time; however, I do not have the same feel for exact distances required to hit my ball close.
After I regain my proper technique, I go back to a more equal forward and back motion that promotes a more delicate touch around the greens. Then all things go back to normalish for my short game. One thing I will mention is that it took a fair bit time and practice on the range to develop my fix. I suggest that you use my tip as a starting place if you are having chipping problems. Then from there practice and experiment until you find a fix that works for your game.
If you cannot find a fix that works for you, I recommend that you visit your local professional and see if a lesson can put you on the proper path to a chipping technique that works for you.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “Are You To Helpful On The Golf Course?”
Fear is a killer on the course. Your fix solved that issue for you, but are you sure it wouldn’t be worth it to put more time into getting comfortable with your distance control using the technique so you could feel better using it more often?
My mind goes automatically to bounce when I read the description of your “fix”. And to be as sure as possible I engage the bounce, especially with that knife edged 60 degree I carry, I will swing with my arms pretty much locked to my torso and no help from the wrists to gain clubhead speed. That’s optimal for consistencies sake. If I need more speed to get over something really tall or to get it up faster maybe, or travel farther, I’ll revert to using the whole body. It’s not quite as consistent, but you do what the shot calls for. And it did take awhile to learn distances with that new option. I still have work to do on that since it’s not something you have to do every time, but it was surely worth it.
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I have tried using my ‘fix’ technique during many rounds, but I feel rushed. Although a great fix, it is not something that fits my tempo on how I play. I have never had a ‘pop’ type swing for contact through the ball. I am more of a fluid motion type of player. I do use my bounce. All of my wedges are at 8° and work great under normal circumstances. Unfortunately, the bounce becomes less effective when I try to help my chip. Such is life right now.