Get up and down! Try this drill for pure chips

August 17, 2018

If bad chipping has you feeling down, GOLF Top 100 teacher James Sieckmann can help. Try this four-step drill to achieve Tour-level contact and feel in 10 seconds flat.

With one hand on your right thigh, you'll have a greater awareness of your lower-body stability.
With one hand on your right thigh, you’ll have a greater awareness of your lower-body stability.

1. QUIET TIME

Set up with a narrow, open stance, as you would for a short wedge shot. Remove your right hand from the grip and rest it against the outside of your right thigh. Placing your right hand in this position helps create an awareness of lower-body stability in the backswing. Quiet legs are key — short swings require little, if any, lower-body turn.

Swinging the club up the shaft plane will make it nearly impossible to close the clubface.
Swinging the club up the shaft plane will make it nearly impossible to close the clubface.

2. TOE UP

Swing the club up the shaft plane to get the toe pointing skyward. Poor chippers tend to rotate their body early and then hinge their wrists incorrectly, sending the club inside with the face closed.

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This is nearly impossible to do in a left-arm-only swing. Instead, your left wrist will hinge properly and support the weight of the clubhead.

Let the club release naturally — no pulling!
Let the club release naturally — no pulling!

3. PASS PLAY

Your downswing should be tension-free, so that the clubhead can release naturally past your legs through impact. Players with poor takeaways tend to pull the handle forward with a death grip, reducing loft and the forgiveness built into most wedges.

This final move gives you an idea of how a proper chest rotation feels over a stable lower body.
This final move gives you an idea of how a proper chest rotation feels over a stable lower body.

4. FINAL MOVE

Swing to your finish and hold, then place your trail hand on the grip in its normal position. This gives you a great sense of how your chest should rotate over a soft, stable lower body to support the release of the clubhead. Mimic these feels when you swing for real and you’ll be a boss from close range.