In wet conditions it’s easy to catch your chip shots heavy which generally leads to the ball dribbling just a few feet in front of you and a deep sense of frustration. However, a good chipping action and a good up and down to save par gives the player a feeling of satisfaction. Sadly the positive emotion is all too infrequent for the club golfer.
Most of my time is spent fixing the full swing but the quickest route to lower scores is developing a solid short game. The areas discussed in this blog are common mistakes club golfers make when chipping and hopefully after reading this you will be able to apply the techniques discussed and improve your own scores.
Why do most people miss strike their chip shots?
When teaching the short game I see lots of the same issues creeping into club golfers techniques.
I generally see two types of set-up. The image below on the left is most common. The golfer sets up to a chip shot the same as they do for a full swing. Weight distribution is 50/50 between left and right foot and there is no shaft lean towards the target. This even weight distribution makes it very difficult to strike down on the ball which is crucial to a good contact.
The right hand picture is generally what I see from the more advanced player. This player has more weight on their front foot but the shaft is leaning too far forward which promotes the sharp leading edge of the club striking the ground instead of the bounce.
In an attempt to see the back of the ball this golfer is also tilting their right shoulder lower than his left which encourages an ascending blow through the ball rather than a descending movement of the club.
During the swing two very common faults are shown in the pictures below.
1) Flicking the club through impact (shown on the left) is generally caused by the golfer trying to generate loft and helping the ball airborne instead of letting the loft of the club do the work. From a technical point of view this is generally caused by a lack of upper body rotation through the ball.
2) One of the crucial elements of a good short game is using the bounce of