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Remember Tiger’s Hero World Challenge event and how many players were struggling with short shots around the green because of the strong Bermuda grass grain? Here are a couple options to be able to chip and pitch without getting the club stuck in the grain!

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Shawn Clement is the new Director of Development at the Royal Quebec Golf Academy in Quebec City, Canada and a class A PGA teaching professional. Shawn was a 2011 and 2015 Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year nominee while Directing at the Richmond Hill Golf Learning Centre. He was also voted in the top 10 (tied with Martin Hall at No. 9) as most sought after teacher on the internet in 2016 with 83 000 subscribers on YouTube and 36 millions natural views. Shawn has been writing for numerous publications since 2001 including Golf Tips Magazine and Score Golf Magazine. He also appeared of the Golf Channel’s Academy Live in July 2001 with Jerry Foltz and Mike Ritz. Shawn Clement has the distinction of being one of the only professionals fit by Ping’s Tour fitting centre where he was fitted with left and right handed clubs including 2 drivers with 115 plus miles per hour and 300 plus yard drives from both sides.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Ben

    Dec 31, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    The grass on that course is paspalum. Usually used on modern courses in high salt environments.

  2. Obee

    Dec 29, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    This is actually a great method to use into Bermuda grain, but it’s quite one-dimensional and can only be used when you can “bump” the ball, obviously. It’s great, but it’s not at all “new,” Shawn.

    Maybe “interesting” or “different” would be better….

  3. ChipNRun

    Dec 29, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    This summer I played one of the few Bermuda public layouts in St. Louis area. The greens crew had sprayed for weeds earlier that week, and result was a very spiny net of dying weeds entangled in the surviving bermuda.

    It was a frustrating day. I got up-and-down a couple of times from 20 yards out on the fairway, but got mostly bogies – and two double bogies – trying to negotiate the greenside gnarl.

    The key seemed to be whether you were going against the grain or not. Best way to tell was with practice swings.

    Best solution (working post-round) seemed to be “hit the ball first.” On the against-grain-gnarl shots, it seemed like I was killing the ball, but I to strike it crisply to get ball close from greenside.

  4. C

    Dec 29, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Just learn to clip a very low bounce, high loft wedge. No need for this silly method

  5. geohogan

    Dec 28, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Id be interested to see a demonstration chipping from short rough:
    Bermuda and Kikuyu

  6. MT

    Dec 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Everything went 30 degrees left and extremely hot. Seems like it would be hard to control distance and direction.

    • Obee

      Dec 29, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      It’s not at all difficult precisely because when you said: Everything goes left … and hot. Just play for that, and it’s actually a great shot to have in your bag. Very one-dimensional, though….

  7. parman

    Dec 27, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    The club might not catch with a closed face, but the ball comes off hot and running making it difficult to control. I much prefer the open face technique.

  8. Scheiss

    Dec 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Not a new way at all

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Instruction

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One of the biggest myths in the golf swing is that you only “rotate or turn your hips” during the transition. Of course, you must rotate them at some point but as you see Tiger here in the photo above there is a very distinct bump AS the hips begin to rotate. If you only rotate you will tend to stay on your rear foot during the downswing causing over the top transitions and poor quality impact!

Most average players have trouble compressing the golf ball and hitting the ball solidly during impact. In fact, the thin and “clicky” shot is more often hit than not. This shot comes from the absence of longer arms through impact and whenever you “pull up” through the shot you will tend to hit the equator of the golf ball. As you look at this LPGA Tour player in the left frame you will see long arms and more solid impact!

Attention women, you have more flexibility than 10 men and this can be an issue when you play golf. As you can see in these photos the LPGA player on the left has a tighter turn to the top allowing a more explosive downswing! The player on the right has wasted too much motion on the backswing and therefore will have trouble producing speed through impact!

When pitching, it’s easy to forget about using the pivot of the body and only focusing on using the arms. As you can see in the photo above this player is rotating his rear shoulder through the shot keeping the rear wrist in a great condition for solid impact. If you only use your arms here you will tend to “flip” at the ball and use your hands too much making quality impact a fleeting thing.

One of my favorite ways to look at the putting stroke is from the hole back to the player. As you can see, Rory has hit the ball in the left frame and continues into his follow through in the right frame. What you can see is that the putter continues down the line with little twisting and turning of the blade post-impact. As we know the stroke works in an arc and the face will close on its own but it’s not your job to “release” it or try and make it happen on your own. Just let it flow!

To be a good pitcher of the golf ball you must do two things around the green…number one, just bruise the turf coming through impact and have some type of shaft lean forward (SLIGHT). If you possess these two things then you will have a much better chance of hitting good solid shots around the green. If you come into the golf ball too steeply or have the shaft backing up through impact then you will find that you will have impact quality issues.

When it comes to club fitting most golfers have clubs that are fit to them when it pertains to the length and hopefully the lie but with putters 99% of all golfer don’t even consider fitting. Most putters come off the rack around 35 inches with a lie angle of 71 degrees…great if you fit this mold but if you do not your impact will tend to look like this one above. The putter is toe-up with a faulty impact location giving you inconsistent misses. Get your putter fit—length, loft, and lie and you will thank me.

If you want more distance and more consistent impact then you should work on having more “width” at the top. When the lead arm is straighter you will find that these things will happen automatically. If you want the lead arm in a better condition then check out your rear arm…that is the controller! If the rear arm is at 90 degrees or more, you will find the lead arm will be straighter. Try it and you’ll be walking farther down the fairway.

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Have you ever become frozen over the ball, unable to initiate the swing? In this video, Michael Powers of Northbound Golf identifies and defines the cause of the problem.

Also, Northbound Golf have launched a new app (for IOS only).  It can be accessed through a search of in the App Store.

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