Twenty years of bad chipping. Well, that’s not entirely true. Twenty years of absolutely horrendous chipping is a more apt description.
Somehow, after a major injury to my left knee, my ability to chip the ball had disappeared. I figured that with practice the basics would return and my short game would return to its’ previous level.
As it happened, I entered a very busy time professionally and did not have a lot of time to practice but when I did practice I was unable to hit two chip shots in a row without “fatting” at least one of them. My wife Lynn, who is an LPGA professional, gave me some great advice but I was not ready to listen and really who listens to their wife anyway!
In December of 2002 I started as the Head Golf Professional at Arrowhead Country Club and began to teach quite a bit. I thought to myself that by continuous teaching of chipping basics I would regain my ability to chip the ball. Wrong!
In my second year at Arrowhead I was competing in a Couples Horse Race and my team was involved in a Chip-Off. I double hit the chip (which ended up pretty close) and my full blown chip yips were suddenly on display for all to see.
Fast forward to late August 2010. I was preparing for a member short game clinic and knowing that I would need to demonstrate shots I was watching YouTube videos of the world’s best players hitting chip shots. One video of 11 seconds caught my eye and I found myself watching this video over and over for nearly three hours. There was clearly something in this video that was reawakening a feel and concept that had been dormant for 20 years. I jumped out of my chair, went to the garage and returned about ten minutes later with a prototype of what is now the ChipInInABLE.
“Lynn, you have to see this. I just invented a cure for the chip yips!” I exclaimed.
Without looking up she said, “Can it wait for a commercial?”
Glancing over to our living room where I was chipping balls from the carpet into the couch she stated, “Oh my God, that’s not your chipping stroke. That’s amazing. What have you done?”
From that moment on I knew that I needed to share this device with the golf world. The exact date of this event was August 23rd, 2010. We decided two things would drive the development of this practice/teaching aid. First was that we would have the product made in the USA and second was that we would keep the product as affordable as possible.
Within two days I found a manufacturer who would work with me to develop prototypes. In my Google searches I found Steve Plzak of DRD Corp. in Glenmoore, PA . His website had an Engineering and Design Services button, as well as a confidentiality agreement, so I sent him a short video of me using the rough prototype.
Within two weeks I had 5 prototypes from DRD and by mid September the final design was finalized, patent work in process and domain names secured.
The ChipInABLE debuted on December 1, 2010 and was introduced to the world (at least the pros who found our booth just outside the ladies rest room) at the 2011 PGA Merchandise show.
The ChipInABLE is made in America and carries a retail price of $24.95. Work is underway to introduce a Junior ChipInABLE and also a second generation ChipInABLE.