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With Tiger back in action shortly, one of the aspects of his game that will be scrutinized is his short game. Many of you can relate to the chipping struggles he’s displayed in recent years.

This video will help you understand what has been missing anatomically and from a tactile point of view and give you options like cross-handed chipping, which has helped several tour players save their careers!

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Shawn Clement is the Director of the Richmond Hill Golf Learning Centre and a class A PGA teaching professional. Shawn Clement was a 2011 and 2015 Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year nominee and was also voted in the top 10 (tied with Martin Hall at No. 9) as most sought after teacher on the internet with 65 K subscribers on YouTube and 29 millions hits.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. PS

    Nov 19, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Hi Shawn,

    Most tips on chipping that I’ve come across lately advocates using the bounce of the club, and one of the way to achieve that is less shaft lean and ball positioned more in the middle of the stance (as opposed to back foot), an example of which can be found in attached link https://youtu.be/gUTF6MBPVmw. I do prefer chipping the ball positioned off my back foot but I must admit I do encounter problems with the leading edge digging in too much. Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on how the seeming different approaches advocated by you and other coaches can be reconciled.

    Thanks

  2. DaveyD

    Nov 10, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I started working with left hand low chipping this past year. I find I can come in shallower to the ball than using the regular grip. A lot more spin doing it that way. Going to keep working this technique, but I’m happy with it so far.

  3. Milo

    Nov 10, 2017 at 12:16 am

    I really enjoyed this video, gonna save it for when it warms up here in Iowa lol.

  4. OB

    Nov 9, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Your explanations are so logical and I love your imagery. Reversing the gripping for chipping and then returning to the usual gripping seems to positively refresh the swing grip.
    Is there any cross-over benefit within the brain by practicing the swing in the non-dominant direction… training with say a left-handed 5-iron over several months while still training in the dominant direction with your regular clubs?
    Wasn’t it Mac O’Grady who could play from the right and left side in perfect form?

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Instruction

3 keys for getting out of bunkers with soft sand

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One of the most infuriating things in golf is to land in a bunker that has too much sand, or sand with the consistency of a truckload of talcum power. Now, I am not picking on the Superintendents; they do have to add new sand from time-to-time, so no hate mail please! It’s my fault for hitting it in the bunker in the first place, and bunkers are supposed to be hazards; I know that.

The one thing we will assume for this article is that even though we are in soft sand, we will have a good lie, not a plugged or semi-plugged one. We are in a bunker that just has a bunch of sand, or it’s soft and fluffy sand. Everyone asks me what the secret is to handling these types of conditions and I’m here to help you get better.

1) Get a wedge with the correct bounce

Let’s consider that you play the same golf course every weekend, or that you mostly play on courses that have the same type of playing conditions mostly. When you have this luxury, you should have wedges that fit the conditions you tend to play. So, if you have a low bounce wedge with a sharp flange and you’re playing from bunkers with lots of sand, then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Why alter your swing if the wedge you have can help you? Use a high bounce wedge (9-12 degrees of bounce) for soft sand, and a low bounce wedge (6-8 degrees) for firm sand.

2) Control your Angle of Attack 

As with most things in golf, there are always things that you must pay attention to in order for you to have the odds in your favor. Simple things such as paying attention to the lie you have can help you save shots in the rough. In bunkers, you cannot test the surface, however, you can use your feet to feel the density of the sand. Pay attention to what you feel in the balls of your feet. If you feel a ton of sand below you, then you know you will have to alter your angle of attack if you want any chance to get out of the bunker successfully.

So what do I mean by this?

The setting of your wrists has a very dynamic effect on how much the wedge digs in or skids through the sand (assuming you have an open face). When there is a surplus of sand, you will find that a steeper attack caused by the maximum cocking of your wrists makes it much easier for the wedge to work too vertical and dig too deep. When you dig too deep, you will lose control of the ball as there is too much sand between the blade and the ball — it will not spin as much and won’t have the distance control you normally have.

The secret to playing from softer sand is a longer and wider bunker swing with much less wrist-set than you would use on your stock bunker shot. This action stops the club from digging too deep and makes it easier for you to keep moving through the ball and achieving the distance you need.

3) Keep your pivot moving

It’s nearly impossible to keep the rotation of your shoulders going when you take too much sand at impact, and the ball comes up short in that situation every time. When you take less sand, you will have a much easier time keeping your pivot moving. This is the final key to good soft-sand bunker play.

You have made your longer and more shallow backswing and are returning to the ball not quite as steeply as you normally do which is good… now the only thing left to do is keep your rear shoulder rotating through impact and beyond. This action helps you to make a fuller finish, and one that does not lose too much speed when the club impacts the sand. If you dig too deep, you cannot keep the rear shoulder moving and your shots will consistently come up short.

So if you are in a bunker with new sand, or an abundance of sand, remember to change your bounce, adjust your angle of attack, and keep your pivot moving to have a fighting chance.

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Instruction

WATCH: How to stop “flipping” through impact

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Are you flipping through impact? In this video, I share a great drill that will help you put better pressure on the golf ball at impact. By delivering the sweet spot correctly, you’ll create a better flight and get more distance from your shots immediately.

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The Wagon Wheel Drill

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For many golfers, the ability to hit shots golf ball to the target is a difficult task, especially when you take into account the rough, trees or hazards lining the hole. In this video, I share “The Wagon Wheel Drill,” a simple idea of how to practice intentionally hitting the ball left, right and on target.

Practice this and you will soon be hitting the target more often.

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