Chipping has three main ingredients for a great golf shot. It requires finesse, imagination and memory. Take the example of a great artist with a paintbrush. Have you ever noticed the finesse with the stroke of his or her brush? An artist does not complete a great drawing, without remembering prior dos and don’ts. Notice how their imagination creates a great drawing in the end. What has this got to do with golf?
These are the necessary ingredients required to make a great golf shot happen. The only difference in comparing the two artists is the type of tool they are using to perform the task. If you have finesse with the golf club, along with imagination, the results will be a great golf shot, just like an artist using the finesse and imagination in a great drawing.
Learning to finesse a golf club is a very delicate task. Next time you’re watching a golf tournament on TV, watch the pros chip around a green. It looks like their golf swing is in slow motion. The professional golfer guides the head of the club on the takeaway, creating the precise amount of weight necessary to make the ball bounce off of the face of the club for the intended landing area.
To help accomplish this delicate shot, ingredient number two has to be in place. The imagination is the preparation prior to this finessed shot. It helps complete the physical motion and timing necessary for proper weight distribution for the club head speed. When you actually visualize the golf chip before everything is in motion, it triggers the memory in guiding the muscles and timing to create the perfect shot.
So how do we create finesse and imagination with chipping? Practicing over and over again, until chipping becomes a sixth sense. It may seem disappointing at first, but try and pick up a paintbrush and create great artwork with the first couple attempts. Make this following practice drill your favorite pastime if you want to zone in on the golf hole out on the golf course.
Take your golf bag and pull out your favorite lofted golf clubs and rest the bag lying flat on the ground. Take out as many golf balls as possible, if you’re not in the middle of a round of golf. The more golf balls you use, the more enjoyment you will receive out of this drill and less time walking back and forth. You will lose interest if you have to constantly gather a small amount of balls all the time.
Try practice chipping the ball just over your golf bag or hitting it. Move the bag away from the golf balls about 5,10 and 15 yards to start. This will be your intended landing area when you are out on the course. The golf bag will be your target to hit, or go over for distance memory. The key goal here is to train your memory for the distance of a chip shot with certain clubs.
If you want to learn to pick up the golf ball fast, move the bag closer to you standing it upright, or distance the bag away from you for those longer lofted shots. Do not change clubs until you have accomplished a certain goal in mind, like the number of times you hit the bag, or by dropping the golf ball slightly over it. If you want to learn the distance on running an accurate 7 or a 6 iron, move the bag a least twenty to twenty-five yards from your hitting area.
As you progress in your chipping skill, try different techniques on bouncing the golf ball off the face of a golf club to see how the ball reacts with a variety of short irons, and see how high and far the ball travels with an intended target and a goal in mind.
This practice drill will help build your confidence out on the fairway when you have to chip over hazards. When you are unable to hit greens in regulation, regulate the amount of times you use your putter by practicing this drill often. Instead of getting frustrated waiting for the group ahead of you on a slow day, try practicing with one or two golf balls alongside a tee box, if you are not playing a match or in a tournament.
You will eventually notice a lower scorecard, even on a bad day when your longer golf clubs and putter let you down. It is a good feeling when obstacles like sand traps and water hazards, become part of the scenario on the golf course, and not an obstacle to potentially ruin your great round.