Instruction – Short Game Solutions
Let’s take a look at three of the most common issues that I see when it comes to short greenside chips. I often see golfers that have 1, 2, or all 3 of these issues.
No. 1: Tempo and Swing Length
Swing length and tempo often go hand in hand. A short backswing followed by a downswing that over-accelerates is high on the list of repeat offenders. In order to fix this, you need to increase the length of backswing so that there is no need to over-accelerate on the downswing. Then, you need to get a feel for the appropriate speed of the downswing.
Grip the club with your trail hand only (right hand for a right-handed golfer) and swing the club back and through. Don’t think golf swing. Just move the club back and through, one swing at a time. Feel the weight of the club. Don’t pull the club or handle down. Allow the weight of the club to swing or fall.
This feel and tempo is what you need to incorporate into the swing when both hands are on the club. You might feel like it is slow and that you don’t “have control”, but that’s great. You need to get out of your own way on these!
No. 2: Wrist Breakdown
We’ve all seen this one time and time again. The body is not involved, the hands and wrists do all of the work, and the lead wrist breaks down. The ball is bladed of the back of the green and that’s just the beginning of the nightmare!
The good news is that eliminating this dreaded fault is possible. Start by taking your set up while holding an alignment stick alongside your shaft. Swing back and through without the alignment stick hitting the side of your body on the way through. With just a couple of whacks to the rib cage, you’ll get the feeling of the hands swinging through to the target without that lead wrist breaking down.
No. 3: Weight Shift
Quite often those that suffer from the old chili-dip or blade across the green a guilty of shifting weight to their trail foot during the swing. So, if that’s you, you’ll need to place an alignment stick one shoe length behind the ball, perpendicular to the target line. Make sure you start with your weight on the lead foot and keep it there throughout the swing. If weight moves back to the trail foot the club with bottom out early and hit the alignment stick.
If you are guilty of 1, 2, 3, or the entire trio, practice these drills individually. The nice thing is that all of these can be practiced in the backyard as well!