They Never Told Me This on the Lesson TeePractice Tips for Pitching and Chipping
How’s your short game? When you are faced with a downhill or fast pitch / chip shot do you ever have problems? Can you hit it soft when you need to? Most golfers have trouble hitting a delicate chip or pitch because it is hard to make a short or soft motion due to our thought process. We tend to think a body turn or pivot is needed in order to move the club back and forth. Or we make a bigger swing than required and de-accelerate on the downswing. Both of these scenarios lead to inconsistencies in the short game.
Next time on the practice green when you have a few minutes spend it on the short game. Try this: Take your address position with one of your wedges and move the club by bending and straightening the right elbow (for a right handed golfer). Bend the elbow for your backswing, straighten the elbow for your downswing. As long as you keep your left wrist flat at impact you can swing the club back and forth by using the arms and eliminating the body pivot or even excessive wrist cock.
All three mentioned above (body pivot, cocking of wrists and bending and straightening of the elbows) are power producers. The key on the delicate shots is to identify how much power you need and to incorporate just the correct amount for the shot at hand. Sometimes we try to do too much with the little shots and we end up playing “ping-pong” back and forth across the green. I am confident, that with a little practice, you will improve your short game and in turn lower your score.
Pat O’Hara, PGA
Manager of Golf Operations at Sun City West. Twenty-six year member of the PGA of America. Certified Instructor for SeeMore Putters and Lynn Blake Golf (The Golfing Machine). Has worked with golfers of all levels of ability, from beginner to the PGA Tour.
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