Golf – Fixing Common Faults in Your Chip Shot

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 80,523
    Professional golfer Paige Veliz-Gilbert demonstrates how to fix common faults in your chip shot.

    Hi, I am Paige Veliz-Gilbert with the Presidential. We are going to talk about some common faults and how to fix them when it comes to a chip-shot. Two big things happen more often than any other thing in chipping. I see it all the time, I have even done it. Here is what they are, when we are chipping sometimes our instincts tell us that we need to scoop the ball and lift it. When I do that, two things happen. One is my weight falls to my back foot and the second thing is that my hands tend to break down and scoop at the ball. We are going address these in two separate situations, let's talk about what the weight is doing first. Remember, these chip shots are just like an underhand toss.

    So, if we remember to put the shot into the context of a tossing motion, we realize that the way it has to finish or stay on the front foot throughout this tossing motion. It is going to be little bit different for everyone, but there is two ways that we can work on this. One is, as a practice drill, you can actually hit chip shots with just one hand, if you are naturally right handed, I would encourage you to do this with just your right hand. You will feel when you make that tossy motion, your weight has to bump forward just a little bit. A lot of times we are told to keep the legs perfectly still in chipping.

    Try not to be so stiff that you do not allow for a natural shift in your weight. There has to be a little bit of feel, in fact the only way will ever truly feel distance is in our feet and leg. So, from here, I like this practice drill a lot, I just hit shots with my right hand only. The second drill that we can employ here is to keep the weight on the left foot and what this does, it's real simple, all we do is we stance in our normal chip motion and then we raise our back foot up. So, that we are standing with almost entirely all of our weight on our front foot. By standing on one foot, I keep my weight firmly planted on my front leg and that will help the ball contact coming through.

    Remember, when we hit these shots, we want to make sure that we are not falling back on to the back foot. We want to stay nice and tall on the front leg, we want to be upright and tall and from here it also keeps me from falling backwards. I will notice right away, if I teeter off balance and try to lift the ball. So, in terms of weight shift, remember that chip shots in underhand tossing motion and we need to finish or keep the weight on the front foot at all times. The other issue is what the hands are doing. Now, the hands breaking down is fairly common, it is not just common in chip shot, it is common through out the swing.

    One of the ways that we can combat this, is to take the grip and just gently ring our hands together as if we are ringing out a towel. You can see where I am pressing my thumbs together and creating this so little bit of tension. When I do this, I firm up my wrist and my forearms, just enough to prevent the club from wiggling and breaking down this way. That added tension can really make a difference. It is not a death grip, it is just a little bit of a ringing motion. Now when I address the ball, it should be easier to keep this triangle that I started with intact. Any time the club passes the hands this way, it's a little bit dicey when we hit these chip shots around the green.

    Another way to keep an eye on what the hands are doing, to keep the wrist from breaking down and losing the club this way is to take a Tee and to place it between the pad of the hand and the top of the club. Remember, the pad of the hand being on top of the club was one of our checkpoints for a good grip. When I press the Tee to keep it in place, it creates just a little bit of tension in the forearm and wrist, enough so, it will help minimize any breaking of the wrist side to side. Remember, every time we break our wrists, we change the angle of the club base. Now, I am ready for another chip shot. Keep those in mind, I guarantee, you will hit better shots.