Stop Helping Your Chip, It Is Hurting Your Score

Chipping is a fundamental skill that all golfers must master. It is one what requires patience, imagination and confidence in order to develop the chipping stroke needed to lower your golf score. All to often, amateurs, like myself, forget to trust in our technique and try to help our chip get just a bit closer to the hole. Unfortunately, the only thing that happens is we stub or blade our chip resulting in grind to make par or bogey. Helping any golf shot usually results in poor execution, but when chipping it seems to create worse results.

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Chipping In Is Always My Goal

Each time I set up for a chip (from any distance really), I have the expectation of chipping in. Of course this rarely happens, but I do not think that lag chipping is the proper approach to playing aggressive golf. Believe me when I tell you that I have hit some terrible chips, but the mental process of focusing on dropping a chip is always at the front of my mind. I believe that this approach is best suited for my game and has a dual function that helps to routinely lower my golf score; I think this approach will help your game as well.

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Pareto’s Principle and Golf

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth. In the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M. Juran inaccurately attributed the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto’s Principle. While it may be misnamed, Pareto’s Principle or Pareto’s Law as it is sometimes called, can be a very effective tool to help you manage effectively. (about money)

Wow, how does this interesting economic factoid influence your golf game, you may ask? Let me explain it in another way. The Pareto principle, also known as the 80–20 rule, states that, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. So basically, when working on your golf game, make sure practice time on the 20 percent that really matters.

Pareto's Law Works In Golf!

Pareto’s Law Works In Golf!

Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things. For example, I had trouble is chipping from 50 yards. I did not focus on the real issue that was common to all chips, but focused on each individual challenge. Before, I never distributed most of my weight to my front foot when chipping. I had an even distribution of weight on both feet. The result was I scooped the ball often and was short on most of my chip shots. I tried many things like changing clubs, a different ball, more hand motion, less hand motion, etc….basically I was focusing on the 80%. Once I figured out that I needed to have more weight on my front foot, all my chips improved and positive results occurred during all my chips from within 50 yards.

I believe in Pareto’s Principle. It can be applied to all areas of my life, especially my golf game. I now take a different approach to improving my golf game, I look at the larger picture to see what area of improvement will benefit the most parts of my game.

This year, I am working on my swing sequence as discussed in previous posts. The bump, chest catch up, and complete follow through will be beneficial to all my full swings….focusing on this 20 percent that will affect the 80 percent.

What is your 20% this year?

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