- 02/ 02/2013)
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 green.
If you can master the art of chipping
and pitching the ball, you will see your scores drop
by a few shots per round.
However as I have mentioned, if you want to be able
to chip and pitch the ball with precision you must learn
focus your eyes on the back edge of the golf ball, the
exact point where the club head strikes the ball and
watch this point on the golf ball until the precise
moment the club head makes contact with the ball.
It is very difficult to maintain
the focus your eyes on the back
edge of the ball and continue to watch the ball right
up to the precise moment the club head strikes the ball.
If you want 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 on that point
for much longer than you can imagine.
chip shot requires a technique that is simply a longer
version of the putting stroke.
However the technique requires the
golfer to use a selection of club lofts, depending on
the length of the shotrequired, to chip the ball so
that it lands on to the edge of the green and runs the
remainder of the distance to the hole.
To correctly perform a chip shot,
the shoulders, the arms must be held together as a solid
unit, but importantly, the angle that the club head
relative to the arms as set at the address position
must be held throughout the chipping action - and then
by simply using a rocking motion of the shoulders this
moves the shoulders, the arms and the golf club as a
one piece unit, but the lower part of the body must
remain relatively still whilst the upper body rotates
back and forth.
However the weight of the body must be slightly over
the front foot so the shoulders can rotate back and
forthwithout the lower body swaying back and forth and
whilst the head is firmly held in the original address
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
see the club head strike
the ball.To achieve the
desired result you must focus on using the club head
to separate the grass and the golf ball as if you are
driving a wedge between the grass and the ball.
This action must be performed with
a slightly descending blow.
The key to mastering the art of chipping is to keep
the lower body absolutely still with the weight of your
body predominantly on your front foot, (Which is
the left foot if you are a right handed
player.) whilst the upper body simply rotates back
But more importantly, you must focus your eyes intensely
on the ground that is just under the back edge of the
golf ball - this is where the club head must be directed
(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 this point
right up to the precise moment the club head strikes
But the one overridding factor that will enable you
to chip with perfection is to keep the
head firmly in the original address position throughout
the chipping stroke.
Any swaying movement of the head, no matter how slight,
will result in a miss hit.
( See Video)
As you were watching
the video you would have actually seen the club head
strike the ball, 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 prematurely begin
to look to see where the shot is going.
This results in disasters such as hitting the ground
behind the ball, thinning the shot or even shanking
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 thearms 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 target line.
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 slightly descending
blow and then goes past the ball position, imagine the
club face simply separating the grass and the ball but
with the club face held square to the target line at
( Most golfers take their
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 until well after the ball has
Striking the ball with a slightly
descending blow, ( See Video)
whilst ensuring that the club head continues to move
forward and downwards to the bottom
of the swing arc -- simply allow the forwards/downwards
swinging action of the club head to automatically cause
the ball to move upwards and forward.
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 address position.
You must literally see the ball move away from its resting
Analysis of the Chip Shot.
Back Swing Movement.
The back swing movement is a rotation
of the upper body unit whilst the shoulders, the arms
are the golf club are firmly held together as a one
The elbows must be held as close
together as it is physically possible throughout the
complete movement and the arms and the golf club must
be held as if the whole lot had been welded together
as a solid unit.
The Down Swing.
During the process of chipping the
ball, everything moves at a slow pace with all of the
components of the golf swing moving together, however
it is very important and vital to the success of the
movement that the rocking action of the shoulders control
the movement :-
1) The shoulders, the arms and the
golf club move as a single item as a direct result of
the hip action, but focusing on the right shoulder/right
upper arm muscles as being in total control of the passive
2) The elbows must be held as close
together as possible so that the arms work together
but with the right elbow tucked into the waist.
3) The head must remain firmly positioned
slightly behind the ball and in the Fixed Frontal condition
throughout the movement.
4) The upper body angles must be
5) You must focus intensely on the
back edge of the golf ball and ensure that the club
face remains square to the ball position right through
the contact area.
The overriding factors that will
enable you to successfully chip the ball, is to maintain
the weight of your body predominantly over the front
foot, keeping the head absolutly still, whilst watching
the back edge of the golf
ball until the precise moment the club head strikes
the ball, but keeping the club face square to the target
line through the contact area.
All of the movements of the body
must be carried out in a very controlled and deliberate
manner in order to achieve the best results whilst chipping
But importantly, the conscious mind
is a very good at accurately predicting how hard to
hit a golf ball in order to hit the ball a given distance
-- in fact very similar to how you can judge the distance
when you throw a paper ball into a waste bin.
may not realise it, when you carry out a practice swing
your concious mind very quickly calculates the speed
and the effortrequired of the swing movementin order
to hit the ball the required distance.
However, most of us do not play the
actual shot as we have practiced, because at the last
second we have doubts about the power of the stroke
the conscious mind calculated and subsequently we decelerate
the club head at the precise moment that the club head
makes contact with the ball ---and we have all suffered
the same results.
So it is absolutely vital that you
rely on your original judgment and play the actual shot
as per your practice swing -- you must have trust in
the original assessment that your mind calculated during
the practice swing - So when you are next on the golf
course give this some thought and trust your judgment.
Play a few practice swings immediately
before playing the actual shot, but ensure that these
practice swing imitate the actual chip that you wish
to perform in relation to the speed of the club head,
however as soon as you make the last practice movement
you must play the actual shot without any undue delay
with the same speed that you used during the practice
swing and you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
1) It is essential that whilst performing
the down swing movement that you focus intensely on
the golf ball and literally watch the ball until the
club head makes contact, but importantly you must keep
the head firmly positioned slightly behind the ball.
2) The lower body should be set with
a open stance to offset the reduced activity of the
hips, whilst the shoulders remain parallel to the target
3) The best position for the golf
ball when playing a conventional chip shot, is to align
the ball slightly right of the centre of your stance.
4) You must ensure that the club
face remain square to the target line as it swings through
the contact area.
Failure to watch the
ball until the precise moment the club head makes contact
with the ball is one of the main reason why golfers
miss-hit the golf ball whilst playing a chip shot. Another
reason is that the golfer addresses
the ball with the club head too far behind the ball
at the address position.
(You must position the club head directly behind
the ball so that it is practically touching the ball
at the address position.)
Therefore you must focus your eyes
on the back edge of the golf ball and hold this focus
whilst you strike the ball with a descending blow, but
importantly, keep the head in the original address position
until well after the ball has been struck.
As a point of interest, most golfers
do not actually focus of the eyes exactly on the ball
but generally tend to stare at the ball which incorporates
the general area around ball, therefore if you wish
to become a good chipper of the ball, you must define
the focus only on the back edge of the golf ball.
This is easy to do during the back
swing and most of the down swing movement, but it takes
a lot of practice to maintain this intense focus on
the ball so that you actually see the club head strike
I can assure you that the majority of golfers do not
actually see the club head strike the ball - the conscious
mind anticipates the movement of the ball and therefore
the eyes begin to track the movement of the ball before
it has been struck.
The other reason why golfers stub
the ground when attempting to chip the ball, is that
they allow the weight of the body to move back onto
the right foot as the club head approaches the ball.
So remember, once you have set yourself
up to carry out a chip shot, you must keep the weight
of your body over the left foot until the completion of
the movement, but importantly, keep the head firmly positioned
slightly behind the ball and literally watch
the ball until the precise moment the club head strikes
the ball and do not allow the head to move away from the
original address position until well after the ball has
The theory of the chipping action
is quite simple.
In order to move the ball forward
and upwards by any given distance all you have to do
is calculate the loft of the club face and how fast
the club head needs to be moving at the precise moment
it forces the golf ball and the turf to separate.
By using a simple pendulum action,
use the muscles
of the lower back to rotate the upper body unit
as far back as you have calculated, thus using the rotational
movement of the shoulders to push the arms/golf club,
pause at the end of the back swing before commencing
the down swing.
The speed of the swing is relatively
unimportant, a steadily accelerating movement is far
But remember when chipping, you must
set the hips in an open position with the shoulders
square to the target line and the weight of the body
predominantly over the left leg (
and importantly, it must remain over the left leg throughout
the back swing and the down swing movement,)
but the head must remain slightly behind the ball until
after the ball has been struck.
To hit the ball further, it simply
requires a club face with less loft and a longer back
swing movement, which is done by increasing the rotational
movement of the shoulders -- this is why it is so important
to have a few
practice swings, prior to attempting to strike the
In order to hit the ball higher so
that it stops more quickly, you have to:-
1) Use a wedge with a higher degree
2) Open your stance a bit further
so that the hips are facing more towards the target
area, move the ball a bit further forward in the stance
and open the club face a bit more in order to set the
club face square with the target line.
The practice swings 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 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
rather than distance.
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 hip movement to rotate
the shoulder/arms-unit back to the original address
position and 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 club
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
as the club head swings to the bottom of the swing arc.
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
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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