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Fear not the chip shot

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor
Short game practice area, Industry Hills GC
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Hit a short game practice area, like this one at Industry Hills GC, to work on your chipping. (Kiel Christianson/GolfPublisher.com)

A lot of players are scared to death of chipping - and for good reason. They have experienced the full gamut of frustration. Sculling the ball over the green, laying the old Hormel on it and watching the little divot go farther than the ball!

The good news is with the proper technique you can become a chipping wizard!

Set up is critical for any shot and at the Medicus Golf Institute we refer to this as "Set up for success." Address and set up are the two areas that anyone can look as good as a PGA Tour pro, so make sure that you get these two correct before you move the golf club.

Now let's talk about chipping.

In chipping you don't want any hand or wrist action, so the first thing you will need to do is place the club in the left hand between the thumb and heel pads. This will eliminate any wrist movement and also keep the left arm and clubshaft in one line. Now add your right hand and use any style of grip that is comfortable; overlapping, interlocking, ten finger, or reverse overlap. A lot of players use the reverse overlap since that is what they use in their putting stroke.

Once the grip is completed you now want to take your address and setup position.

Start by placing the ball location off the back ankle, keep your shoulders square to the target line, narrow your stance, and pull your left foot back to give the visual of an open stance. Keep your head in the middle of the stance! This will place the head in front of the golf ball. Then lean your body and clubshaft toward the target until you have 80 percent of your weight forward.

By leaning the weight forward you sharpen the angle of attack and make it almost impossible to hit the chip fat!

Now it's time to make the stroke by simply moving the club back until the butt end of the club reaches the middle of your right thigh. But do not shift your weight - the weight stays forward. From here rotate your torso and allow it bring the hands and club into Impact with no additional usage of hands - no flipping of the golf club!

After impact keep rotating to follow through and keep the clubhead below the hands.

We had a player that was scared to death of chipping and after working with him doing exactly what I have described above he went out the next day on the golf course and holed four chip shots! He came in all excited and couldn't wait to tell us what had happened. Shortly after he came in, a couple of the players that were out with him came and asked what we had done to change his chipping so dramatically. We showed them a couple of things and they asked how they could attend one of our Short Game Schools, and one of them is a golf professional from another course nearby.

Use this procedure and you will lose all fear of chipping. Who knows you may even make a couple!

Chuck Evans, G.S.E.D., a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is one of only 31 golf instructors worldwide designated to hold a doctorate in golf stroke engineering. He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and as director of instruction for the United States Golf Institute. He is also the author of "How To Build Your Golf Swing."

 
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