Get Your Golf Short Game On – Tips for Putting Like a Pro
The two most common and most annoying errors in chipping are the fat chip (chunker) that goes nowhere and the thin chip (skull) that shoots across the green or into the other side of the bunker.
These are caused by hitting up, and they wreak havoc on your golf short game. We are so eager to get the club under the ball that we end up hitting the ground first.
In turn, this causes the clubhead speed of the chip to slow down so that you cannot muscle through the ground, and the ball goes somewhere else. Worse, you strike the equator (top) of the ball with a rising leading edge (sole) in an attempt to miss the ground.
This results to a low shot that does not go well within the intended target, and will chalk up points on your golf short game and negate all that work you did with your beautiful drive.
Achieve a clean contact, spectacularly better results, and a better golf short game by hitting the golf ball instead of the ground. Sounds blatantly obvious, I know, but sometimes we golfers just need to execute flawlessly on the basics.
Acceleration is the key to striking the ground after the impact when chipping. But sad to say, most of the players are hesitant to accelerate during the execution of the short game. This may be because of fear of hitting the ball too far-off.
Most players fear in hitting this “delicate” shot far away from the hole, over the green, and even into the trap on the other side of the green. Hence, players attempt to slow down the clubhead right before the impact.
The scenario is we need to strike down, we have a short shot that we do not wish to hit too far, although we are aware that we need to accelerate the clubhead to achieve a clean contact. But how can this be done and at the same time maintaining control over the distance that the ball will travel?
It’s quite simple. You must shorten your backswing. Bad chipping happens when you try to hit the ball to lift it, and swinging back too far followed by deceleration of the clubhead hoping not to hit the ball too far.
It is simple, isn’t it? But it is easier said than done. The problem however is on our view of what a short backswing is. We are fond of hitting the club from as high as our necks just to hit big booming drives. Yet we think that a backswing on waist level is short. But the truth is, if you swing back to your waist and accelerate the club head down toward the ball, you will probably make a shot that travels more than 25 yards.
That is why we often try to decelerate. Most players who have a difficulty with chipping will swing the club too far. And most of them were not aware of how far back they were swinging.
This may be just a quick tutorial in chipping, but it already gives you basic information in understanding the relationship between hitting up and bad chipping. Bad chipping is caused by hitting up at the ball. Many players have poor chipping techniques because they try extra hard to hit high chip shots even when not necessarily needed. This exaggeration only results in hitting up at the ball which makes things even worse.
“What are you trying to get over?” This is a key question that you must ask yourself as you go to hit the chip high into the air. You better keep the ball low. When the ball is low, it rolls. It is easier to predict shots that roll, and this noticeably reduce the strokes you burn up in your golf short game.
When you see a professional chipping in (holing out), take note whether the ball was low and rolling, or high and bouncing. It is exciting when you see a ball bouncing in but most of the time you will see the ball rolling well right before it reaches the hole.
I hope this golf short game tips have given you some good action items for your next trip to the links.