Who: Ryan Palmer What: 51-foot chip to six inches When: Final round of the Sony Open Where: 551-yard par 5 18th Hole at Waialae Country Club
The key to this chip shot, which clanged off the
flagstick and set up his winning birdie, was Ryan's practice swings: they
were very loose and wristy and he aimed the club to hit the ground at a
specific contact point.
When people get nervous, they tend to get tight and
lose their freedom. So Ryan purposely took several loose and free
practice swings to prepare himself to make a relaxed swing with the
Here are two tips to follow when preparing to hit a chip like Ryan’s.
Tip No. 1: Stay relaxed and loose in your mind and with the swing.
Tip No. 2: Always have a specific aiming point for
where the club will bottom out. Don’t just make thoughtless practice
swings and sweep the club through impact so it doesn’t touch the
ground. In practice swings, aim to contact the turf at a specific point
and take little divots, like Palmer did.
The Drill: Put a
penny or a tee on the ground at the contact point and take practice
swings without a ball. You should clip the tee or penny. Then put down
a ball and hit the chip. Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Michael Breed is the head professional at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y.(Photo: Chris Condon/Getty Images)