Head on down to your local hardware store and purchase a door wedge I am going to explain how this item can be used as a simple practice aid to improve your chipping technique.
If you are prone to hitting the odd chip ‘thin’ (most frequently caused by an early release/flick of the wrists on the downswing), the following drill will help you to eradicate this from your game – conversely, if you are prone to catching the ball ‘heavy’ (commonly caused by ‘too steep’ an angle of attack or excessive weight shift during the chipping motion), this drill will vastly improve the consistency of your ‘strike. Place the door wedge down on the side of the chipping green and align it to face the desired line for the hole you are chipping towards (as below)
- Position the ball down on the grass 2 inches in front of the door wedge when practising with a pitching wedge or Sand wedge / 3 inches in front of it if chipping with a 9 iron or 8 iron (see photograph)
- Assume your ‘chipping/set-up’ position to the golf ball – grounding the sole of your club between the back of the ball and the front of the door wedge. You will see that I have done this in. When I chip, I like to position my weight evenly between both legs at set-up, I have my hands slightly ahead of the ball (not too much forward shaft lean) and I position the ball just forward of the centre of my stance.
- Now, simply practise hitting chip shots using the angle of the door wedge as a guide for the angle of ascent on your backswing and descent on the downswing. If you release your hands too early on the downswing you will likely hit the back of the door wedge with the leading edge of your club.
- Try to focus on bouncing the sole of the club into the ground just behind the ball. This will improve your club to ball contact.
Article written by Ton Long the PGA Golf Professional at the Jack Nicklaus designed Kinloch club in Taupo. He has a mobile tuition app called Golf Inside the Scoring Zone and is available in IOS and Android. For more information visit www.tengrandmentality.com