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Question on Chipping:

How does one stop the wedge from digging in and hitting the shot chunky?
--Richard S. from League City, TX

Hi Richard,

Thanks for submitting your question. Most chunky shots come from 3 common causes. So let's explore these and see if we can figure out what might be causing you to hit your wedge fat.

The first and most obvious cause for most players is where their weight is at impact. To hit a solid iron shot, you must be shifting off of your back foot and have most of your weight on your front foot before impact to avoid bottoming out behind the ball. This is especially important in the short game where we want to hit down on the ball and impart spin. Having the weight back too far not only causes fat shots, but also causes topped shots and weak shots with little spin as we scoop and the ball just rolls up the face. To overcome this try pre- setting your weight on your front foot at address and making sure to feel like you stay there through the shot. Also, make sure to feel more over the ball with your upper torso through impact. You may even try some one footed drills where you stand only on your front foot at address and keep your back foot up on the toe with no weight on it throughout the shot.

The next common cause is an early release. This means that although you are probably forming angles in your rear (right for right handed players) wrist and elbow at the top of the swing, you are releasing or casting those angles too soon. The result is the club bottoming out too soon and hitting the ground behind the ball. Make sure when you are coming down to keep the butt end of the grip driving towards the ground and then the target as long as possible. Your rear wrist should remain cocked until the very last second when you strike the ball. Get the feeling that your hands are well out in front of the ball towards the target before impact.

The 3rd common cause is a swing that is coming too far from the inside or inside/out. Again, this forces the club to hit the bottom of the arc before you get to the ball. To test this out take a range basket and place it in front of your rear toe and maybe back a few inches. Practice hitting pitch shots by keeping your club head in front of the basket. If you pull the club too far to the inside on the backswing or downswing you will hit the basket.

I hope this helps. Be sure to check out all of our drills under our chipping and pitching sections to get some more ideas on how to practice your wedge shots. If you haven't already start plugging in your scores to the game tracker and practice planner so we can better help you reach your goals.

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