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Question on Chipping:

I hit a lot of my irons fat and I SKIP chip a lot of balls around the green. Can you help?
--Marc B. from Levittown, PA

Hi Marc. Thanks for writing

Hitting the ball fat and thin around the green typically comes from the same cause. The issue is that your club is bottoming out in the arc too soon and either hitting the ground before the ball or bottoming out and then catching the ball on the upswing. This can happen for several reasons. Whatever the reason, your hands are probably too active and flipping or cupping though impact.

I'd like you to check a couple of things to see if we can find the root cause.

The first thing I'd like you to check is your weight. It is common for players to get their weight too much on their back foot as they try to scoop or help the ball into the air when they are chipping or pitching. We actually should do the opposite and make sure to hit down, trusting the loft on the club face to bring the ball back up. It is important to have your weight over your front foot so that you can better make a downward strike on the ball. Be careful to not keep your head back too much as that will pull your weight back. That's a common mistake I see in lessons. Feel like your head is more over your front foot. You may even try hitting a bunch of chips standing only on your front foot. Just put your back foot up on the very tip of your toe so you won't place any weight on it.

The next thing I'd like you to check is your release point or the point when you are uncocking your wrists. As long as your club head stays behind your hands it will still be descending. If however you uncock your wrists too soon (before impact) and the club head lines up with your front forearm, the club will then start ascending and you will hit up on the ball too soon. Make sure to lead with the butt end of the grip going towards the target as long as possible and feel like you are uncocking your wrists after impact. You should have a forward leaning shaft (towards the target) coming into impact. To test this and make sure that you are bottoming out at the right point (after impact) try the Coin Down Drill here:

It will help you to hit down in the right spot and catch not only your short game shots solid, but your full shots as well. The One Foot Only drill is on the same page. Use that to make sure your weight is forward.

Marc, give these drills a try and let me know how it goes. I'd also like to let you know as a Premium Member for only $19.99/month you can send in your swings for a more accurate analysis.

Best of luck.


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