Stop Chunking Your Chips

If you're tired of sticking the club in the ground, then try practicing blinfolded.

If you lay sod over a lot of your chips, the most likely reason is that you dip your head down at impact. This drill will force you to stop chili-dipping by keeping you in the dark.

What it is: Chipping Drill

What it does: Stops Chunking

Address the ball using your favorite chipping club. (Hopefully it'fs an 8- or 9-iron see below.) Hold your chin as high as possible and extend your arms down to the ball.

Without moving your feet, wrap a handkerchief or T-shirt around your eyes. Once it's secure, re-position the club behind the ball and address the ball again. (You might have to peek to check.) Chip the ball. Keep your head and upper body high through the motion.

Remove the blindfold. We'll bet you a five-spot that your ball is closer to the hole than your usual chip.

Why it works: The blindfold eliminates the "hit impulse," which causes you to focus too much on the ball and dip your chin in an effort to scoop it into the air.

That thing about club selection: A student of mine had a chip from a fairway lie. He took out his lob wedge to flop it and skulled it across the green. The lesson: Use as little loft as necessary and you'll save strokes right away.

RICK BARRY is director of instruction at Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

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