Golfers in Thailand who maybe experiencing trouble with their chips and pitches usually create their difficulty with improper movement of the hands and the club head through the ball. The club head must contact the ball crisply while moving down and through the ball as seen in the photo insert at left.
This is just the reverse of intuition which suggests that when the hands are allowed to slow down and stop, and the wrists break sharply up at impact the ball will go up and short, well it does not! What will result from this movement will most certainly be a topped shot which goes sailing across the green, often coming to rest even further from the hole than where you started.
I play the short chip shot from a few feet off the putting surface at least 4-5 times every round, and when I for the most part get close and one putt, a sure good score results for the day.
The chip shot should be played with one of the less lofted clubs, such as the nine iron, held a little lower on the grip. You should use a very narrow, slightly open stance with the knees relaxed. The club head should be taken straight back away from the bail, with the length of the back swing controlling the distance the ball will travel. Since in the full back swing there should be no breaking of the wrists until the hands are hip-high, a chip shot (which requires less back swing) should have very little wrist break either going back or on the follow through.
To achieve the proper action of the hands and club head, one of the best methods of practice is to place one ball where you would ordinarily play it off the left heel and another ball about three or four inches in front of that ball. Practice until you can strike both balls cleanly with the same swing, and you will find that your scoring as well as your confidence in the shot will improve, thus making for a much more enjoyable Thailand golf vacation.
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