(Photo by Masam Ali)
By Jack Woods
In the first of a two-part series, here’s a tip to end heavy or bladed chips
The odds of hitting every green during a round are slim at best. To avoid scorecard blowouts, it’s therefore vital that you are able to chip the ball close when you do miss. Sadly, chipping is the part of the game most amateurs give the least attention to and when they do devote a bit of practice time to the short game, it is rarely effective.
With this in mind, it is unrealistic to expect you’ll get up and down with any regularity. Over the next two months, I hope to change this by looking at a key technical issue I see in poor chippers before outlining a simple practice game that will help bed in this tip.
Let’s start with the technical side of things. As a result of wanting the ball to pop up high around the greens, it is very common for amateurs to fall onto their trail leg through impact, often leading to a heavy or bladed contact. This is often because of the chest and therefore the bottom of the swing move behind the ball. As you’ll know, this is not particularly conducive to the desired result – knocking those chips to tap-in distance.
To counteract this, try setting up with your trail leg withdrawn and with the heel raised as pictured. Hitting practice shots like this ensure weight favours your lead leg throughout the shot which is a vital ingredient for crisp contact.
Combine consistent contact and flight – the secrets to improved distance control – and next month’s practice game, and you’ll quickly improve your chipping stats. See you next month.
Jack Woods is a PGA Teaching Professional at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club’s Peter Cowen Academy Dubai. For more information, visit dubaigolf.com