Although chipping is the most basic golf shot many golfers struggle to strike chip shots well. If a player lacks confidence when facing a chip and is worried about hitting the shot thin or fat they are not able to concentrate on feeling the distance, and even if they manage to strike the shot well they will rarely end up close to the hole.
There is nothing more frustrating than hitting good shots towards the green but messing up from forty yards and in.
Top professionals have great short games because they are confident about the strike and can pour all their energy into feeling where to land the ball. It is a department of the game they practise for endless hours in the knowledge that a good efficient short game will help lower scores. Getting up and down in two should be a target for all golfers.
Improve Chip Shots and Lower Scores
If a golfer has tried to improve his chipping but still finds it difficult to strike the ball well it is well worth trying a special chipping club. Confidence in the short game is everything and a chipper is specially designed to make it easier to strike the ball. Considering how often golfers have to rely on their short game anything that helps lower scores should be tried
Why Chipping Clubs are Easy to Hit
Rather than using a seven or a nine iron, which are easy to thin or fat, a chipper is designed with extra weight at the bottom to lower the sweet spot making it much easier to hit.
Because power is not necessary on a chip the shaft is also much more upright allowing the player to get closer to the ball, which helps with accurate shots and makes chipping more like putting.
Best Chipper on the Market
There are many chippers on the market but one of the most popular is the Odyssey Marxman X-act Putting Wedge. Every design feature of this club helps to strike chip shots better. The low centre of gravity weight distribution allows the golfer to easily get the ball in the air and the lines on the club head make it simple to line up correctly.
Many manufacturers design special clubs for shots around the green and often golf shops stock one or two, normally found in the putting section. They are also inexpensive compared with other clubs. If you are in doubt, find a golf shop that will let you hit some experimental shots.
If you can improve your chip shots you will gain confidence and you will lower your scores.
How to Release the Golf Club in the Golf Swing
The most basic shot in golf is a chip shot, and if you can master chipping, and train the hands to hit good chip shots, you are only one step away from being able to hit the driver and irons better. Because the golf swing is a chain reaction, if you can develop a good chipping action, automatically you will improve your full driver swing and your iron shots.
How to Release the Hands in the Golf Swing
It might sound almost too simple, but learning to hit a chip shot straight, means you are training your hands to square up the club face at impact. Even though it’s only a small shot, the muscles in your arms fire in the same way as they do when you have a full swing, so educating your hands on a chip shot will mean they are more capable of squaring up the club face when you drive the ball or hit full iron shots.
The reason golfers tend not to practice chipping is because they fail to appreciate the close relationship between a chip and full golf swing. Whether it’s a small gentle shot or a full drive, the muscles needed to release, or square up the club head, are the same. To educate the hands to square up the club face go to the range with a seven iron and carry out the following drill:
Drill to Train the Hands to Release the Club
Take a seven iron and a bucket of balls and start chipping. When you have warmed up take ten balls and aim at a target no more than twenty yards away.
The point of the exercise is not touch and power but accuracy by training the hands to adjust the club head. Chip the ten balls and see how many finish up left or right of the target.
After making sure you are aiming correctly, take a further ten balls and without changing your aim, change the pattern of your shots by adjusting the club face through impact. It is your right hand that is responsible for changing the way the club is released through the ball.
To make more shots finish left of the target the right hand will have to roll the blade closed as it hits the ball. To hit more shots to the right, the right hand will have to hold open the face through impact.
When you have proved to yourself that it is possible to hit the ball in a different direction simply by altering the hand release, increase the power and length of the swing so you start hitting pitch shots.
Carry out the same test you did with chip shots. Alter the pattern of your shots by using the hands to change the release.
Every shot you hit will be training your hands to control the club head – which many golfers believe is the true difference between a golfer who struggles on the course and a low handicap golfer.
After hitting pitch shots increase the power and length of the swing and try to manipulate the hands through impact in the same way. Eventually you will find that it becomes difficult to control the ball and at that point you should go back to the previous length of swing where you were successful at altering the release.
Work away with that length of swing and when you feel complete control move up to the longer swing again.
If you can master hitting a chip shot straight, followed by a pitch shot to either side of the target by using your hand to release the club face, you will find it much easier to drive the ball onto the fairway ,and in turn, you will lower your scores. The more you use this drill the more you will be able to control your driver and iron shots.