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Understand Good Impact Before you learn to swing the club, you need to under- stand the proper impact position for chipping, which is the club shaft leaning forward to the hole with the grip in front of the club head.


2 All good shots in golf are hit with the shaft leaning


forward. I like to illustrate this concept with a simple drill of trying to squish the tee into the ground with the ball (pic- tured at right). You will love this drill because it will teach you to hit down on the ball without scooping, which is the incorrect wrist action many golfers use when they try to help lift the ball into the air.


3 Smooth Out Your Swing Chipping is a small swing with little hand and wrist action. It’s most often


compared to a putting swing, which is a great analogy because the clubhead stays closer to the ground and there is little wrist hinge compared to a full swing. The club should not swing much above your knees. A great drill to smooth out your chipping is to swing the club back and forth


continuously three or four times in a row. This drill improves your timing, tempo and technique. If you still don’t feel smooth, try relaxing your hands and arms even more on the downswing. You may notice a natural weight shift back and forth while swinging continuously—that is OK, too. Remember, chipping is a mini golf swing and the proper weight shift forward can improve your ability to keep the shaft leaning forward considerably.


Hit the ball with the


shaft leaning forward at impact.


You might even look at the front of the ball, and not the back of the ball. • Use your full swing grip with


secure fingers and relaxed arms. • Your feet are closer together than


any other shot you play—just a club- head apart (pictured above). • Your back foot should be perpen- dicular to the target line and your front foot can be slightly open. • The ball is played just inside your


back foot. • The shaft of your club leans to-


ward the target—this de-lofts the face and helps the ball run out.


4


Finish It Off The proper finish of a chipping swing


has the club shaft in line with your front arm. This position demonstrates that you have hit the ball with the shaft lean- ing forward at impact and you have not broken your wrists incorrectly. Practice swinging the club to the finish and holding the shaft in line with your front arm (pictured above).


Road—Walk it Off If you continue to have trou- ble with solid contact and feel that your wrists are still break- ing down, there is the chance that you are not shifting your weight correctly. Your weight must be on left foot at impact. This is difficult for most golfers because not only do they tend to hang back, but they tell me they don’t think they should shift their weight at all in chip- ping. They are trying to be still, like in putting. If this sounds like you, I want you to try this fun drill to get you moving for- ward. This drill is often called the Gary Player drill, and it improves your weight shift. Hit a few chip shots and actually walk right through the shot to the hole. You can’t step forward if you don’t pivot correctly to your left side. After a few exag- gerated weight shifts using the drill, go back to conventional chipping and you will easily feel how to shift your weigh to a bal- anced finish.


5 One More for the SUMMER 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 67


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