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cape cod beachfront golfer

Help... Lost my chipping stroke?

17 posts in this topic

It has been over a month now of steady play and I have gone from always being the best chipper in my playing group of 8 guys to being just plain awful. At first I blamed it on the poor Spring grass conditions but now the grass is lush and I am still awful.

I have always chipped with a firm left wrist (RH Player). This year the same technique is giving me two kinds of missed shots. This year even when chipping 'well' I am constantly 3-4 feet short. When I try to chip harder I end up with the dreaded ground ball that zips by the hole. I chip with a 9 iron and always have.

Should I be playing the ball in the middle of my stance? Back in my stance? Off my front foot?

Addressing the ball should the face of my 9 iron show loft? Or be closed with little loft showing? Stance open?

Any suggestion of what combination I should be using? Currently I am so lost I keep trying different combinations throughout the round... with nightmarish results!

Help me clear my head... and I will start practicing with the 'correct' stroke. Thanks.

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I like to play it more forward in my stance and use more of a putting stroke. Playing it back can cause the leading edge to "dig" too much.

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Not sure if your problems are technical or mental.  I like to play the ball middle to back in the stance but not too far back and weight not too much on the left side as this could cause your chipping action to be too steep. Make sure your left hand isn't too tense and that the right hand is acellerating through the shot and not stalling, this can often lead to a thins and fats, heres a little mental video to change your approach to thinkinf if your problem is mental

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When my chipping goes its usually 1 of 2 things Lack of commitment Looking up way to quick
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Your video was very helpful in explaining using a putting technique to chip. At the end of the video I also read some of the comments from your original posting. One comment mentioned using old style dedicated chipper blade. My a crazy coincidence I own and carry a "sand slider" (heavy flat bottom, looks like chipper on steroids). Loft is pretty high but I may practice your technique with it and my trusty 9 iron. I know many suggest playing back in stance but the leading edge too often fails me... sticking it in ground or smacking equator of the ball. Gives me a chill just thinking about my misses. I will give your method a try. Thanks.

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I chip with a 9i mostly. If it won't carry to the green surface, then a more lofted club is needed. I play it just behind center. I use my left side with firm wrists. I keep my right side out of the shot. Weight more on the left side (I'm a rightie). When I bring the club back, I pause momentarily and bring it thru but not fast. Just firm. I usually stone my chips. The course I typically play has a waiting list for walk-ons (that's me). In the past, it could take up to 2 hours waiting, so i would chip for up to 2 hours. You get pretty good after a while. In Florida where I live we have Bermuda grass that will grow with a severe grain. When the grain is growing into the chip, it can be hell because the club will just stop when it hits the grass.
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When my chipping goes its usually 1 of 2 things

Lack of commitment

Looking up way to quick

This is my nemesis, when my chipping goes south.

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I tend to only play a chip when I want a low rolling shot.  I play it off my back big toe and use a left hand controlled shot, but I still use my lower body as I would with the pitch.  I use my 52 wedge for this most of the time because the 58 will check up.  If you are stiff in the lower body, distance control will be an issue.

Frankly, chipping, pitching a putting are the best part of my  game.  I wish the rest of my game were on par with this part.

I recommend these two books if you are interested.

by Stan Utley

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We can forget using the heavy bottom "sand slider". Practiced with it and the shots were all far too high. On about 25% of the shots from rough the club would nearly slide under the ball. Far too risky. So I am back to my 9 iron. I play again on Monday so I will try the "off back foot" approach then. Putting stroke method didn't feel comfortable.  I currently use a 48 tall putter or left hand low for standard putter which may explain why putting stroke method wasn't comfortable. Lost a match today and only got one chip up and down.Just can't ask my putter to make up for my chipping shortcomings.  Only four pars for an entire round which included NO penalty strokes. Not good for a 10-12 handicap player. The short game is still a disaster and will be my practice emphasis for awhile.

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I feel for you. I keep my head still, ball slightly back, hands forward, slightly open stance, weight forward, knees bent, no intentional wrists or legs. Pick a spot to land the ball. No violent movements. I think I feel like the club is being dragged by my left shoulder. With so little movement in my joints, it's easy to return the clubhead to where it started. I brush the grass.
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Vangator

Your description fits my 'good day' chipping style perfectly!

I do have a question or 2.

Which club do you chip with? I always used a 9 iron.

At set up... can you see loft on your club ?

Or does the club appear closed down,,, more like a 5 iron  ?

Not sure if this is from grip or ball position in stance?

But I remember not seeing much of the club face... maybe just 2 or 3 grooves.

Also when I was chipping well I always thought "firm left wrist, let the club do the work."

It was always so natural to me I am frustrated why I can not recreate it this season!

I am now thinking I got into bad habits playing more Simulator Golf than usual this past winter ???

Day off today... "back to work" on Monday...

Of course to a retiree,  "back to work" means a morning round of golf X 6 days a week!

I leave Sunday golf for the "less fortunate"... those still working! :-)

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Sorry, Vangator...

I just went back to earlier posts and see you already answered some of my questions.

Thanks for the help... I'll keep at it!

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This happen to me as well. lost my chipping stroke.

I find that  after losing my chipping stroke, I have gained a much better flop/lob shot.

Been using my LW too much maybe.

Currently prefering to lob/flop lately rather than chipping, which is a complete 360 for me rom last year.

If I have to chip then I try to use a 7 iron to 3 iron to chip with rather than 9 iron.

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I only flop when I absolutely have to. It's just a harder shot to hit.
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I have gotten my chipping stroke back!

When I got to the course this AM they were still putting down chemicals.

So we had about a 20-30 minute delay waiting for chems to dry.

Normally I might have an extra cup of coffee or putt away the extra time.

Today I went away from the clubhouse and started chipping...

At first I was having the same problems... hands just would not do what I wanted.

Finally I started hitting LONGER chips... say 30,40, or even 50 yards.

Ball striking started improving immediately... and I noticed what I had been doing wrong!

Before I had been SO worried about club face and ball position I had forgotten about my feet.

Once a started hitting the longer shots my feet self corrected without me thinking about it.

When I was going bad I had let my feet get too far apart...

My natural position which I re-found  was too have my heels touching to almost touching with left foot turned out.

I am sure a coach or video session might have corrected the problem sooner...

BUT for me the key was just hitting longer shots with no pin to concentrate on...

Once I did that my feet automatically self-corrected...

Shot a 78 ( 8 over par) with only 1 muffed chip... the short variety of course.

Total difference in attitude now that I feel I can chip close... again.

Thanks!

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No confidence in a flop shot...

but love a good 10-15 yard lob shot.

I carry a 60 degree for just those occasions of going over a bunker.

My problem is always is the lie good enough?

I need that nice fluffy lie you do not always find on public courses.

But still when I do hit it well it makes you feel 'professional'... until you miss the putt!

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[SIZE=16px]I have gotten my chipping stroke back![/SIZE] When I got to the course this AM they were still putting down chemicals. So we had about a 20-30 minute delay waiting for chems to dry. Normally I might have an extra cup of coffee or putt away the extra time. Today I went away from the clubhouse and started chipping... At first I was having the same problems... hands just would not do what I wanted. Finally I started hitting LONGER chips... say 30,40, or even 50 yards. Ball striking started improving immediately... and I noticed what I had been doing wrong! Before I had been SO worried about club face and ball position I had forgotten about my feet. Once a started hitting the longer shots my feet self corrected without me thinking about it. When I was going bad I had let my feet get too far apart... My natural position which I re-found  was too have my heels touching to almost touching with left foot turned out. I am sure a coach or video session might have corrected the problem sooner... BUT for me the key was just hitting longer shots with no pin to concentrate on... Once I did that my feet automatically self-corrected... Shot a 78 ( 8 over par) with only 1 muffed chip... the short variety of course. Total difference in attitude now that I feel I can chip close... again. [SIZE=16px]Thanks![/SIZE]

Way to go. I am pretty good at chipping/pitching. I do it with the ball at the back foot, open stance and hips about half open as well. Then control the shot with my shoulders like a putt and make sure no hinge and the back of my left hand never rotates from facing my target. And I will take that stroke in a contest or on course over any amateur trying to hinge and hold from around the greens.

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