One of the most frustrating things that I find when playing golf is ‘duffing’ a short chip shot. You might have hit a great drive or a pretty good second shot, but you’ve left yourself with a 40 -50 yard chip shot to the Green. You then realise that you have to play a little half wedge shot and that’s when everything goes wrong. Because you’re not playing a full shot, you get nervous over your chip shot and either chop into the ground just behind the ball and send the ball about 10 yards or you get tight and hit the ball thin, so that it shoots through the back of the Green. All your hard work in getting there has gone to waste and you then get down on yourself for the next few shots, only making it worse. Does that sound familiar?… because it’s certainly happened to me more times than I care to mention! My short game has always been my biggest problem in Golf, but I have found that the following 3 simple tips have helped my chipping and improved my confidence enormously…
* With your preferred wedge or short-iron, set-up with quite a narrow stance, with the ball positioned in the middle of your stance, but with most of your weight on your front foot, approximately 60 -70% and your hands in front of the ball.
* The key part of this is to keep your elbows anchored to your side as much as possible. This will probably feel a little strange at first, but if you practice, it will stop you waving the club around and will make your stroke much more stable and reliable. You then don’t have the same leeway to get into trouble!
* Take a slow, smooth, shortened backswing, keeping your arms as straight as possible and then follow through on the shot to the same length as the backswing. Make sure that you don’t cock your wrists on the takeaway, as this just brings in unnecessary complications.
* The last is really obvious, but nevertheless absolutely essential – keep your eye on the ball and don’t raise your head until you have followed through.
These simple tips have seen me consistently hit much crisper and better chip shots and more importantly it has meant that my confidence in chipping has grown, so that when I’m faced with a chip shot, I don’t get so anxious any more.
Peter Burgess is a keen, regular club golfer, who has played and studied the game for over 25 years. Currently down to a handicap of 13, Peter has improved steadily and would like to share the tips that have worked for him. Read more great Golf Tips