Coach's Corner: Winter 2021
Chipping Low Point
Seems that this time of year the ground is a little wetter. It rains a lot, and the sun is not out long enough to dry the ground. This can create some embarrassing shots around the greens. What should be a simple, straightforward chip can lead to bad chunks and the dreaded skull.
What I am about to share with you might be different than what you have been taught or what you think you should do. It is not that some of you are wrong, just that you are not doing it the right way. I hope that the following information will help with your understanding and your consistency around the greens. Like all great journeys, it starts from the beginning.
If you know it or not, the success of your shot happened at your setup. It will set you up for success, then the likelihood that you will hit the ball first then the ground, goes up. Look at the two pictures below.
To hit a good chip shot, I agree, that there should be some weight forward onto the lead side, but how you go about it is probably wrong.
The picture on the left shows what I see a lot with poor chippers. The weight is forward, but it got there but the lead hip pushing forward. That will drop the right shoulder down and the head back. The yellow arrow shows where the low point is set/ behind the ball. The grip of the club is leaned too far forward, and all the bounce is taken off the club, making the leading edge very sharp and easy for you to dig and chunk. You are set-up for a bad shot.
On the right, the lead shoulder lowered, and the feel is that the hips went away from the target a bit to counterbalance this. Now the weight is on the left, the shoulders are level, and look at the yellow arrow now. You have the low point, or where the club wants to hit the ground, set slightly ahead of the ball. The shaft is still slightly leaned forward, but the bounce is still engaged making it easier for you to glide the club along the ground.
I know that this may seem different than what you have been taught, or different than what you think you need to do, but this is how all great chippers setup and there is a reason why they are that good. They setup for success.