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Simple tip to improve your chipping

by Pete Cowen, Master PGA Professional

A good tip for people who are struggling with their chipping: The fault I see with most people is that they stand too far away and, as a result, they’ve got no control over what the club is doing through the impact area. So, they lose both quality of strike and direction control. Thinking logically, every club in the bag wants to return to vertical. So when I’m stood over the ball and I move the club back – what does the club want to do? It wants to fall to the ground, and the worst thing is when the club gets to horizontal. Not only does it want to fall to the ground, it wants to fall behind me. We see so many poor chippers, when the club is behind them, because they are reacting to the club in the wrong position. You can see their knees move incorrectly and the club go in the wrong direction. So, we need to get the club as close to vertical as possible, so natural forces are going to make it move back to its natural position (which is vertical).  With chipping, what you want to do is grip down as close as you can, get the shaft almost vertical, and get the heel off the ground. Don’t worry about the heel being off the ground when it’s this short of a shot because the lie of the club doesn’t’ have that big of an effect.

So, when we’re in this position, you can see the heel’s off the ground and we’re, basically, going straight back, and straight through. Keeping the club’s position correct all the time with natural forces, you can swing it back and almost feel like you’re dropping it on the ball, which creates the perfect shot.