CHIPPING & PITCHING
The longest and straightest
golf shots in the world are totally ineffective unless
you can get the ball into the hole in regulation figures
or better, so it is important that you acquire
the skills to finish off the perfect fairway shots.
Therefore it is time to look at the part of the game
of golf which requires the golfer to be able to strike
the ball correctly and land it with accuracy on the
you can master the art of chipping and pitching the ball, you will see your scores drop
by a few shots per round.
If you want
to be able to chip and pitch the ball with precision there are two things you must learn:-
1) At the address position you must focus your eyes on the back edge of
the golf ball and literally watch that point on the golf ball until the precise
moment the club head makes contact with the ball and
then maintain you focus on the spot the ball was resting
for a millisecond after the ball has been struck.
You must practice over and over
the action of watching the back edge of the golf ball
and fully focus on this point, right up to the precise
moment the club head strikes the ball - with every
Until you reach that point, you will
struggle to be a very good chipper of the ball - you
must focus on the point where the club head strikes
the ball and keep the focus of your eyes on that point for much
longer than you can imagine.)
2) You must learn to swing the club head -- past the ball position -- with a slicing action, but importantly, you must ensure that whilst swinging the club head through the ball with a slicing action that the club head swings past the ball position in a smooth one piece movement, rather than stopping the swing action at the point of impact.
The technique of chipping requires
the golfer to use a selection of golf club, depending
on the length of the shot required to enable the golfer
to chip the ball so that it lands on the edge of the
green and run the remainder of the distance to the
hole, however to key to very good chipping is that when it comes to playing the actual shot -- you must play the shot as you practiced the shot, do not have second thoughts about the speed of the club head.
To correctly perform a chip
shot, the shoulders, the arms must be held together
as a solid unit, but importantly, the angle that the
golf club relative to the arms as set at the address
position must be held throughout the chipping action
- and then simply using the rotational movement of
the compact upper body unit to pull the club head into
the contact area and continue to swing the club head well past the ball position with a slight slicing action. (ie, out to in swing path)
(Set the golf club with the wrists set with a slight cocking effect, and maintain this angle throughout the chipping action.)
However the weight of the body must be balanced so that it is slightly over
the left foot and the head is firmly held in the original
address position, so that the swing movement can be made
without the lower body swaying back and forth.
To perform the perfect chipping
action it only requires a slow half
back swing movement, but it requires your absolute
focus on the back edge of the golf ball so that you literally see the club head strike
the ball with a descending blow, but importantly the hands must move past the address position at the same speed that the club head slices through the contact area, thus maintaining the angle of the wrists as set at the address position until well after the ball has been struck.
To achieve the desired result you must focus
on using the club head to strike down on the back of the ball but also with a slight slicing
The chipping movement is a seamless action created
by the rotational movement of the upper body unit,
therefore it is vital that you maintain your focus
on the back of the golf ball at all times.
The chip action must be performed
with a slicing action and with a slightly descending
TIP (for Chipping)
The key to mastering the art of chipping is to keep
the weight of your body predominantly on your front
foot, (Which is the left foot if you are a right handed player.) and the head
absolutely dead still whilst the upper body unit rotates back and forth, but importantly, you must focus your
eyes intensely on the
back edge of the golf ball - this is where the club
head must be aimed.
(You must maintain this focus on
this point for a much longer period than you can imagine.)
It is absolutely vital that you focus on the back
edge of the ball right up to the precise moment the
club head strikes the ball whilst the
hips force the upper body unit to rotate, as soon as the ball is struck, the whole body turns to face the target area.
But the overriding factors that will enable you
to chip with perfection is to keep the head firmly in the original address position throughout
the chipping stroke, make sure the lower part of the body does not sway and equally important, make sure that your hands move past the original address position at the same speed that the club head slices through the contact area and well past the ball position.
Any lateral movement of the head, no matter how slight,
will result in a miss hit.
Video of chipping action
If you were watching the video
very closely, you would have actually seen the club head strike
the ball, which is exactly what you should do when playing, what
you may not notice is that the hands move past the original address
position at the same speed that the club head moves through the
However when playing
this shot on the golf course, I can assure you that
most golfers take their eyes off the ball a fraction
of a second before the club head strikes the ball
and therefore prematurely begin to look to see where
the ball is going.
This results in disasters such as hitting the ground
behind the ball, thinning the shot or even shanking
the ball - watching the ball until the club head strikes the ball and learning to strike the ball with a slicing action will rectify the problem.
When carrying out the very delicate
chip shots, it often only requires a very slow quarter
back swing movement, nevertheless
chipping the ball is a simple task as long as you
follow a few standard rules, which includes:-
1) Holding the shoulder,
the arms and the golf club firmly together as
a very compact and solid unit, holding the arms so
that the elbows remain as close together as it is
physically possible and with the right elbows tucked
into the waist, and with the club face square to the
2) Focus intensely on the back edge of the golf ball and
ensure that the club face remains square to the ball
as it strikes the golf ball with a slicing action
and a slightly descending blow and then continue
to move the hands past the original address position, at the same speed that the club head moves through the contact area, but with a slight cutting action
and whilst the club face remains square to the target
Use the club head simply to strike down on the back of the ball with a slicing action and continue the slicing action until well after the ball has been struck, but importantly, with
the club face held square to the target line at all
( Most golfers take their eyes
off the ball a fraction of a second before the
club head makes contact.)
the head firmly positioned slightly behind the ball and in the
Fixed Frontal condition
and holding the lower part of the body absolutely still until
well after the ball has been struck.
As I perform this stroke I am striking the
ball with a slightly descending blow whilst ensuring that the
club head continues to move forward and downwards to the bottom
of the swing arc and then swinging across the parallel to
the target line, thus it goes under the second ball. -- simply allow the forwards/downwards swinging
action of the club head to automatically cause the ball to move
upwards and forward, but remember to move the hands past the address
position at the same speed the club head moves through the contact
It is vital that you learn to focus
your eyes on the ball and literally watch the back
edge of the golf ball until the precise moment the
club head strikes the ball, but importantly, the weight
of your body must be predominantly over the front
foot so that your head remains fixed in the original
The practice swings will give you
the opportunity to estimate how far you have to take
the club head back in the back swing movement in order
to create sufficient momentum of the club head to
move the ball the distance that you desire.
The practice swings are also important
for you to build up a mentally image in your mind
of the club head sweeping down under the ball without
any resistance from the golf ball.
But remember, at the precise moment
that the club head makes contact with the ball, the
shoulders, the arms and the angle of the golf club must remain
fully bonded as a very compact unit.
Make sure that every practice swing
that you make has a useful input to your memory cells.
All the tuition in the world cannot
teach you the delicate touch that is required during
the chipping process, only by practicing the chipping
technique on the practice ground will you be able
to develop these skills, but I can assure you that
if you can teach yourself to actually see the club
head strike the ball, your chipping will improve dramatically.
A Pitch shot is simply a shortened
version of the full golf swing.
Therefore to pitch the ball it
simply requires you to carry out exactly the same
swing movements that you would use for the full swing,
the only difference is that you only make a maximum
of a three quarter swing action and in addition, the
swing action is slower than the full swing.
Therefore the emphasis is on precision, because the
distance is determined by the length of your back
Although the pitch shot is a shorter
version of the full shot, in order to dramatically
increase your chances of pitching the ball in an accurate
manner it is absolutely vital that you :-
1) Learn to focus on the back edge
of the golf ball and literally watch the back edge
of the ball until the club head strikes the ball.
2) Keep the head firmly positioned
slightly behind the ball with "pin point accuracy"
at all times and in the Fixed Frontal condition.
3) Use the pivotal movement of
the hips to literally force the compact upper body
unit to follow its movement and rotate back to the
original address position and on into the follow through
movement - but concentrating on swinging the club
head to the bottom of the swing arc with
an "out to in" swing plane
(The downward movement of the club
head as it strikes the ball automatically moves the
ball upwards and forward for a distance that is dependent
on the loft of the club face and the speed of the
However the same principle applies,
you must watch the ball carefully so that you strike
the ball cleanly with a descending blow, but importantly
you must watch the spot that the ball was resting
on whilst the club head swings to the bottom of the
When you are fully focused
on the ball and you maintain this focus until after
the ball has been struck, you will notice that after
the ball has been struck, the retina retains the
image of the ball for a millisecond, but magically
this image has been converted to a black image.
Therefore if you can detect this dark image directly after you have struck the ball, this will
indicate to you that you have correctly continued
to look at the position the ball was resting until
after the ball was struck.
Importantly, the head must remain
positioned slightly behind the ball and in the Frontal
Facing condition and the upper body angle must be
retained until well after the ball has been struck.
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