Is it just me, or does this frustrate you too? Let me set the scene for you, I just hit the best drive of my life on a short par-4 and only have a short chip left for eagle or I can get up-and-down for a birdie. What do I do? I skull it across the green or hit behind the ball leaving it short of the putting surface. Does this sound familiar to you? If so, keep reading. I have some information and drills to help you hit more solid chip shots and help you get more up-and-downs. Let’s leave those fat and thin tendencies around the greens back in 2020. This is one of the biggest differences between amateurs and professionals. Professionals are going to get up-and-down the majority of time while most amateurs will throw away shots around the greens from poor contact, resulting in a shot ending up too far from the hole to expect a reasonable par attempt.
Put an alignment stick on the lead side of your grip acting as if it is an extension of your club, gripping the alignment stick and club together. The stick should be slightly in front of your lead rib cage at setup. Now that you are set up, hit shots keeping the alignment stick in front of your body throughout the entire swing
If the story above sounds like you, this could be a result of your hands being too active throughout the shot and hitting up at impact. It is important that your chest, hands and club head all move together throughout the shot. Another tendency I see, making students hit their chip shots fat and thin, is that they tend to shift their weight laterally, there is no need for lateral weight shift on a chip. With chip shots it is important to start with sixty percent of your weight on your lead side at address and keep the weight there throughout the entire shot. There is no need to add more weight to your lead foot on your downswing, nor is there a need to lessen the amount of weight on your lead foot on the downswing and through impact. Once there is sixty percent of weight on your lead foot leave it there and rotate around your lead leg keeping your chest, arms, hands and clubhead all moving together. Think of there being a triangle between your arms throughout the shot, it is important to keep that triangle throughout the entire shot. I have demonstrated two drills below to help get rid of these tendencies and give you more consistency when chipping.
If your hands are too active throughout your chip shot and you flick your wrist at impact, you will know when the alignment stick hits your lead rib cage. Once you have hit several shots with the alignment stick, take away the stick and hit some shots without it, you should notice your chips are crisp.
Place a golf ball under your trail heel at setup this will ensure your weight stays on your lead side throughout the entire shot.
Kirsten Pike is the lead Teaching Professional at Las Colinas Country Club. To improve your scores follow her on Instagram at kirstenpike_golfinstruction and visit kpikegolf.wixsite.com