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Improve Your Chipping - Part II

By: Kiran Kanwar


In a chip shot, the ball has just enough height to land safely on the green, after which it rolls along the ground. Use a pitching wedge or 9-iron to make it easier to obtain early trajectory.

Problem

Topping (sometimes referred to as "blading") chip shots.

Probable Cause

A topped shot often results when a golfer tries to "scoop" or "help" the ball up with a wristy action through impact.

Solution

Set-up

▪ At address, the arms should be as straight as possible. Think of them as "sticks," unable to bend at either the wrists or the elbows.

▪ The shoulders should remain level with one another and completely relaxed, and the right shoulder should be slightly behind the left one (see illustration).

Swing

▪ Move the "sticks" back, then past the ball, and HOLD the finish for a few seconds.

▪ Keep your nose pointed forward forever, never letting it rotate toward the hole.

▪ Feel you are trying to "bury" the clubhead in the ground a few feet in front of the ball, so that the follow-through is low.

▪ The lower the clubhead at finish, the more the ball can climb up the club-face to get the starting height it needs.

Minimalist Golf Swing (MGS) Rationale

The MGS is based on a study of ball-club contact requirements for ideal impact. It then incorporates positions from which the body finds it easy to get the club into these ideal impact conditions. For a correct chip shot, the clubface must connect the ball before the ground. Adding wrist to the shot during the forward swing prevents the club from connecting the ball first.

▪ The easiest way for the club to make good contact with the ball is by keeping both wrists and elbows straight during the backswing, to increase their chances of remaining straight during the follow-through.

▪ In addition, creating a gap between the right arm and right side during the backswing, and between the left arm and left side during the follow-through, makes the chip shot effortless (see illustration).

Drills/Exercise

1. Interlock the fingers and set up as in a good chipping posture, arms hanging straight down from the shoulders. Move the arms back and forth keeping them straight at all times, then HOLD the finish position. This drill forces the arms to stay fairly straight throughout the swing.

2. Pretend you're wearing a lot of jewelry on both wrists. Show off this jewelry to someone standing behind you, both during the backswing and the follow-through. If your wrists bend after impact, and the arms never move past your body, someone standing behind you would never see your jewel-covered wrists!

Kiran Kanwar has 20 years experience as a golf instructor. She currently teaches golf in St. Louis, Mo., and in Bombay, India. At the 2008 PGA Merchandise Show Kiran exhibited a research-based golf swing that quickly gave players of any skill level better distance, direction and trajectory. She also has expertise in dramatically and rapidly increasing a golfer's swing-efficiency to preclude swing-related injury. She's a Class A teaching professional with credentials from the LPGA, the PGA (UK), the PGA of India, and the National Golf Academy of India. Among other titles, Kanwar won the Ladies All-India Open Amateur Golf Championship in 1983. A columnist for Golf Digest India, Kiran is the author of an instructional e-book - sold on her website - entitled "DIY (Do-It-Yourself) GOLF." For more information visit www.yourgolfguru.com or email her at kk@yourgolfguru.com.