Learning to Chip Without Scooping the Golf Ball
After taking lessons and studying up on the subject, it’s been made clear that I don’t have it in me to perform a wrist-less chipping stroke. It’s as if I suffer from the chipping yips; I can’t prevent my right hand from taking over and flipping under the ball. I use my putter from everywhere inside 30 yards of the green, but feel very limited by it. Do you have a solution for a problem like mine?
Jitterbug Gang Fan
Drastic circumstances call for drastic measures, so we might have to get a little creative here.
Basically speaking, your problem is that your right hand tries to pass your left hand near the moment of impact. That’s the flip. Now, the cure.
Place a ball neatly on top of short, rough-cut grass. Next, address the ball with a wedge, but before you grip it, close the face severely. Once the face is closed—pointing well left of the target line—take your normal grip. After that, simply hit a few dozen chip shots.
What you’ll find is that your natural reaction to a closed face is to keep your right hand well behind your left, if only in an attempt to add loft to the otherwise closed face. This movement is the opposite action of the flip. Thus, to learn to chip with an extremely closed face is to rid yourself of the disastrous, destructive tendency to flip your wrists at the ball.
Sound too simple? Give it a try and you’ll see.
Hopeless, you’re not alone. All golfers start out as flippers. Some just do a better job of losing the habit.
For most folks, flipping at chip shots is an attempt to get under the ball. I know this because flippers, after skulling a ball across the green say, “Darn! I didn’t get under that one.”
Non-flippers never make a comment like that because they weren’t trying to get under the ball. Rather, they say, “Oops, I hit it a little thin,” or “Shoot, I didn’t stay down on that one.”
See the difference? As long as one views impact as a lift or get-under-the-ball type task, there is going to be some flipping.
So, before you can get over your flip-at-the-ball tendencies, you have to look at impact as less of a lift, and more of a downward strike.
The good news, Hopeless, is that once you get over this dreadful tendency to flip at chip shots, a whole new world of short game artistry shall be revealed to you. It is a constant source of amazement how quickly one can improve at short shots after loosing the proclivity to scoop under the ball.
Ask Jitterbug - Golf Advice Column by Bobby Steiner
About the Author
The following are a list of golf teaching columns generously donated to us by teaching professional and author Bobby Steiner. Bobby teaches golf at The Practice Tee in East Asheville during the summer months, and at The Westin Mission Hills Resort during the winter.
You can reach Bobby at: www.bobbysteiner.com or firstname.lastname@example.org