Consistent Golf Gazette – 26th February 2012

Just to let you know…I’m preparing a product review for you that is going to be pretty controversial. I’ll send you that next Sunday. It might rock a few boats, but that’s fine with me.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll get the same results, right?

Well, I bet the product that I’m reviewing next week is something you’ve probably never tried to improve your golf game. So look out for that next week.

For now, let’s look at improving YOUR golf game…

How To Make Your Chip Shots Easier

Putting is the easiest shot (technically) in golf and after putting, chipping is the next easiest. But for some reason a lot of golfers duff chip shots by either hitting the ball first or chunking the ground before the ball.

The biggest reason this happens is usually because golfers setup incorrectly and have way too many moving parts in their chipping swings.

So if that’s you, today I have for you a great chipping drill to simplify your chipping motion so you hit better chip shots more often.

So, let’s begin…

When you play a chip shot your lower body should be doing very little. A good chipping swing is much like that of a putting motion. It should be controlled by your arms and shoulders – a rocking motion if you will.

So to help you keep your lower body quiet when chipping I want you to setup to a chip shot as you normally would. After you have setup to your chip shot then I want you to move 70-80% of your weight onto your left foot. Then I want you to raise up your right heel off the ground by about two inches. When you make your chipping swing you must not let your right heel go back to the ground.

You must keep the right heel off the ground for this entire chipping swing drill.

When you hit chip shots with your right heel off the ground you’ll soon discover how much simpler the chipping motion is. And simpler is always better!

So I suggest you hit at least 100 chip shots with your right heel up off the ground for this chipping drill. After doing that you would have started a great habit of hitting your chip shots with a solid, quiet lower half. You may find that you hit better chip shots with your right heel off the ground. If that’s the case simply keep doing this out on the golf course.

You don’t need to raise the heel 2 inches off the ground but just do it just enough to have your right heel off the ground and keep it off the ground all throughout the chipping swing. This is a great chipping drill – as you’ll find out when you do it.

Question

I am struggling to hit my chip and pitch shots the right distances. What can I do to get more distance control on my short shots?

Answer

To increase your feel and distance control around the greens you’ve got to have a good awareness of what has happened previously from similar situations. These previous experiences should provide you with a rough idea on how you should play any shot in the future.

And when playing any short game shot, you should pick out where you want the ball to land. The trick, of course, is being able to pick out a club that will land the ball on your spot and then travel the rest of the way to the hole.

The first and most important ingredient to developing feel is to be able to land the ball where you want, and here’s a great exercise to teach you this.

Grab your wedge and go out onto your back lawn or the practice range and place an empty ice-cream tub (or something similar) about 10 yards from you.

Now simply chip with the only goal being to try to land the ball in the ice-cream tub. Once you’ve achieved your goal with some consistency then experiment with moving the ice-cream tub, and change your clubs and keep practicing this drill. You have to get good at this if you want to dramatically improve your game.

Once you can land your ball around where you want to land it, then the next step is to learn how far each club rolls the ball. To do this, go about 20 yards from a hole with a good deal of green between you and the hole.

Now choose a spot approximately 10 yards away from you and draw a circle around this spot or place tees around it, so it’s easily identifiable. Now pick out a wedge and hit 10 balls from where you are, and land them around this spot and see how far they run. Next take out a 6-iron and do the same thing. See how much further they are running.

Keep changing clubs like this and notice how far the ball is rolling. Once you’ve got a good feel for that, finish your practice session by playing many different shots, from many different places around the practice green, and notice each result closely.

Figure out whether you picked out the right spot to land the ball or not, and whether you picked the right club or not. Keep experimenting and having fun and your short game touch will dramatically improve after following this advice. But don’t just do it once, do it regularly to keep on improving.

To gauge the distance around the green comes down to feel and awareness of what has happened at previous times in similar situations. You must be fully aware of what you do from a particular situation. Then when faced with another similar situation you can then recall what you did and the result and then adjust accordingly.

Unfortunately there is no major cure for feel, only with playing and learning what worked and what didn’t will you develop good distance control.

OK, that’s the end of this issue of the Consistent Golf Gazette. I hope you’re enjoying these weekly newsletters. We’re getting closer to The Masters all the time. Can’t wait!

For Consistent Golf,

Jeff Richmond
Director Of Instruction
The Consistent Golf School
http://www.TheConsistentGolfSchool.com

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