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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Making Solid Chips

Wednesday I did a post about Paul Azinger's pitching tips. In that post I mentioned Zinger's simple definition of the difference between chipping and pitching: Chipping is when you hit the ground with the front edge of the iron, while pitching is when you hit the ground with the bounce. Or, to put it another way:
  • When you chip, the front edge hits the ground and you take a divot.
  • When you pitch, the bounce hits the ground and you don't take a divot.
Given the number of you who checked out that post, I'm guessing you're all having some trouble with your short games. ;-) Well, Zinger said you should know how to do both. And since we already looked at pitching, let me give you an interesting -- and I must say, very simple -- approach to improving your chipping.

Ironically, on Wednesday Golf Magazine Top100 Teacher Shawn Humphries posted a video at showing an easy way to chip more consistently.

Now don't over-complicate this. Essentially all Shawn wants you to do is take a normal narrow chipping stance... but instead of an open stance, use a closed stance.

Here's the thinking behind this: When you open your stance, the ball is farther forward in your stance so you naturally have your body behind the ball (farther from the target), which also puts your weight more on your trailing foot, and you hit the ground behind the ball.

But when you close your stance, your lead foot is in front of the ball (closer to the target), which makes you put your weight more on your lead foot, and that makes you hit down more steeply on the ball. That steeper angle of attack makes it easier to hit the ball first, so you hit it more solidly.

I've heard some of the Tour pros recommend this technique if you want to get the ball rolling on the ground quicker. It's a simple way to do a lot of things automatically, so give it a try if you're having trouble hitting solid chips.

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