We all miss greens….period. The key to scoring is missing a green and still being able to chip it close enough to make a one putt.
It is when we blade and chunk chips that our pars turn into bogies and doubles in a hurry. The following tips will help you get down to the fundamentals of chipping ensuring consistent contact and help eliminate those score sinking duffs.
- Aim your club face at the target FIRST then take your stance. Proper and accurate aim is imperative on short range shots to get it close.
- Set up with your feet closer together than a regular golf stance, around 6 inches apart. A narrower golf stance will encourage a steeper swing and lead to a descending blow to help avoid skulled shots. The outsides of your feet should be just less than shoulder width apart. They can be narrower but not wider than that.
- Set up with a slightly open stance with your feet and hips. Move your front foot back away from the ball to achieve this. This will help you get crisp clean contact and hit your ball on line.
- Have good golf posture. You should have a straight back to allow you to turn easily and for your arms to swing freely. A hunched back will prevent this.
- Square your shoulders to the target! This is the biggest mistake most players make when chipping. They open their stance and then match their shoulders to that. Your shoulders need to be square to the target (not open) to allow you to swing straight back and hit the ball down the line. If your shoulders are open you will cut across the ball and have inconsistent results.
- Set your weight slightly on the front side. With a shorter stroke you do not need to transfer your weight though the swing. The less movement in this short stroke will lead to better consistency and contact.
- Ball position should be under your sternum. Many players play the ball too far forward in their stance. It can be slightly back of centre but never forward.
- Lean the shaft of your club forward. Your hands should be slightly ahead of the ball. (See Picture # 3)
- Be aware that your arms and shoulders form a triangle. To keep the triangle your arms, hands and shoulders should move in the back swing at the same time.
- Make a putting stroke. Keep your weight leaning on the front foot. You can turn your hips slightly but weight needs to remain forward. Maintain your triangle and simply make a longer putting stroke.
Bonus Tip: Keep the back of your lead hand facing and driving towards the target at all times. The wrist of your lead hand should be flat NEVER cupped. Your knuckles should never face the sky.
Hopefully these tips help you get it up and down more often! You are never too old to go to school!
By: Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk
Lisa is the 7-Time Canadian Long Drive Champion for Women, a Golf Entertainer and Motivational Speaker. Lisa can be reached through Claduio (the Traveling Golfer himself) at Claudio@golf-south.net