ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Butch Harmon on Sculled Chips

Maybe you're not having trouble with this, but I bet a lot of you are. So I'm directing you to this Golf Digest article where Butch Harmon tells you why you scull your chips.

Butch Harmon chipping from the rough

We talk about how tough golf is, but many problems have very simple explanations. Butch says if you're sculling your chips, then you're hitting up on the ball. (I suppose some of you might be topping the ball instead. But if you are, I bet you know it.)

Solution? Lean onto your lead foot (Butch says 75% of your weight, but I can't tell percentages that close), move the ball back to the middle of your stance, cock your wrists up and pull through with your lead hand. And keep your weight on your lead foot the whole time while you make the swing.

The caption under the photo above (with the article) says you should use your sand wedge for the shot in the photo, so the heavy sole can help you get the ball up. But Butch doesn't say whether he recommends the sand wedge all the time if you scull your chips or just from the rough. You can try it on the range and see which works for you.

But the reason I focused on this today is that simple explanation: In all likelihood, a sculled chip means you're hitting up on the ball, not down on it. Knowledge is power, especially when it's very simple knowledge that requires no special talent to use. And knowing that might help you get out of a difficult position on the course with another club, even if you aren't playing a chip.


  1. Hey, Mike. What is your thinking on Harmon's advice versus your preference for using a mini-swing on short shots?

    1. Dana, there are many ways to get results in a golf swing -- that's why we have so many different swing methods! And of course, your natural tendencies and the situation you find yourself in can have a lot to do with which method you choose.

      So be sure you notice that Butch is giving this advice to players who are sculling their chips. That means Butch is exaggerating the motions here. For example, I know for a fact he usually doesn't recommend putting 75% of your weight on your lead foot under normal conditions.

      If a player is having problems sculling their chips, I'd advise them to give Butch's advice in this article a try. But if they aren't -- if they just want to try some different methods -- this particular bit of advice is probably overkill.