Proper Setup When Chipping

How far do you stand away from the ball when chipping? I can honestly say that when I set up, I think I am in a natural position, but I never really measured. Normally, I stand in a quasi upright position so that the heel of my club is slightly off the ground. This position works and after measuring I found that it is about two feet away. That is the ball is about two feet away from the heel of my lead foot. If you are wondering how I know this, well….

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Successfully Chipping Over A Bunker

There is little doubt that every golfer will find themselves out of position during their round of golf. In some cases, players will have to hit their ball over an obstacle in order to land their ball close to the pin. A majority of the time it will be a bunker, but a water hazard, plants or rocks can cause the same distress on their close approach shot. Regardless, it is important to understand that the lofted shot over something is a something every golfer should have in their bag. There are a plethora of methods to successfully execute a chip over a bunker and I am going to present a simple, repeatable shot that every golfer can emulate.

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When Is The Best Time To Start In Golf

Golf is a unique sport that allows every player to set their own time schedule for success. It allows us to stay in one spot for an indefinite period of time if we are happy with our game. Of course the factors to making that decision are unique to each player and only they can determine if their golf game is meeting their expectations. Ideally, at least for my game, I try to limit the peaks and valleys of erratic play through making small incremental changes to my game. Once I have identified an area of concern I take active and intentional steps to improve that area in the hopes that it will lower my golf scores. I have found this process to be very successful and think that it is a proven methodology of most golfers. Let me explain further.

Peaks and valleys of playing golf

The set of sign waves on the left are a great visual for my process. Consider the top of the wave to be success and the bottom of the wave to be failure during the execution phase of chipping. (I randomly used chipping, but you can insert any skill that you want to improve.

The green sine wave indicates a chipping game that is unpredictable. It is a challenge to determine if I was going to be successful or not. This approach to lower golf scores did not work for me. The frequency of failure was something that continued plague how well I played and I needed to reduce the frequency of miss shots.

By practicing my short game, I was able to reduce the frequency of erratic play (the blue sine wave). I still did not achieve the solid play I wanted so I used different drills and practiced more challenging chipping scenarios. As I continue to improve, I was able to move the x axis upward where to improve my successful hits, but still had too many poor shots for my liking. So, more focused practicing was required.

After training, trial and error, and improving my skills, I was able to transition to the red sine wave where mishits were rarer and more steady, consistent play became prevalent. The x axis was at lowered and I was hitting better shots more often. The frequency of good to better shots was up and overall, my short game improved. Now, I am confident with my short game and feel that my journey was successful. So, what does all of this really mean?

The best time to start working on your golf game is now. The desire needs to be large enough to drive and sustain our progress through all the stages of improving a skill. In my case, improving my chipping is a continuing journey. I am currently playing in the red sine wave, but do drop to the blue from time to time. Then it is immediately back to the practice range and focused drills. Fixing any skill in golf starts with the first step and working our way to sustain solid, consistent play in the red sine wave is always the goal. To get there, now is a good time to start.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Flicking Your Wrists During A Chip

I found this video that talks about flicking our wrists during a chip. It is a fundamental error I see in many of my playing partners. This topic is nothing, however this video explains why it is important to have a calm consistent tempo when chipping the ball. I like the discussion and solutions provided to reducing flicking or our wrists because it addresses a fundamental aspect of our short game that should not be overlooked.

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Forgetting How To Play Golf

Golf is an amazing game that requires a great deal of knowledge and understanding to play well. I do have to say that “well” is a relative term. It seems that we are all on the ‘three steps forward – two steps back’ path to success sometimes, until it stops. Then it starts all over again and the process moving forward can be slow in challenging. It is as if I forget how to play golf from time to time. Unfortunately, playing in a two person senior scramble was on of those times for my game!

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