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Chipping Secrets Revealed

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Chipping represents one of the simpler swings you’ll employ in a round of golf, but even a little motion can add up to big trouble if you’re not dialed in just right.

With all of the complexity associated with creating a big, powerful golf swing that effectively drives the ball with power and precision, it’s difficult to understand how simply bumping the ball a couple of yards could become the bane of one’s existence. Still we’ve seen it time and again, even at the highest levels of play. From Hunter Mahan’s Ryder Cup gaffe, to TC Chen’s “double chip” while leading in the final round of the 1985 U.S. Open, good and bad golfers alike have been brought to their knees by a shot often taught in a first lesson to beginners.

When golfers tell me about their chipping woes, I know in all likelihood their problem is rooted in two areas: trust and imagination. Trust that their club is going to find a clean strike with the ball and the imagination to know exactly what kind of shot best fits the situation.

Ball-Throw

Pick Your Spot

Great chipping is all about carry vs. run ratios. Instead of just swinging away, pick a spot on the green to land the ball that you feel will release the proper amount to the hole. If you have a tough time imagining what kind of result you would get, spend some time in the practice area tossing a few balls underhanded until you get the ball to finish close. Although a number of heights and landing spots could get the job done, you’ll notice that you’ll be most consistent with one particular carry distance and trajectory. Once you can perfectly see your shot, select the club and swing length necessary to turn your imagination into reality. Being able to properly see your shot ahead of time will allow you to begin eliminating the indecision and doubt often associated with fearful chipping.

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Feel The Arc

When faced with a relatively short distance, it’s easy to try to influence the ball along the target line by producing an online swinging motion. Swings that move too much in a straight line can cause all kinds of problems, the most common being an early strike into the turf or fat shot.

Every golf swing you make should have some degree of “arc” where the club head swings away from the target line in the back swing, back to the target line at contact and then away again into the follow through. By allowing for a little arc, you’ll keep your club swinging according to its natural design, while promoting cleaner contact. In addition, it would be impossible to hit the ball twice, as post contact the club head and ball would be traveling in different directions.

Close-Eyes

Find The Bottom

Great chippers have full trust that their swing is going to find crisp contact with the ball. If you can learn to develop a consistent bottom to you swing arc, you’ll be well on your way towards making solid hits more routine.

With a little weight on your left side, make some pendulum style chipping swings with your eyes closed. Closing your eyes will better connect you to the simplicity within the motion. With your arms soft and rhythm smooth, you should begin to feel the movement necessary to make the club head repeatedly strike the turf in the same spot. Add a little pivot or “turn” into the follow through and your club should begin brushing the grass a little forward of the ball, indicating good ball, and then turf contact. As you get into your shot, trust that you’ve rehearsed perfection and swing away. To really build some skill, try hitting shots keeping your eyes closed. You’ll be amazed at just how good you can be when the club and ball meet each other with effortless ease!

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An accomplished coach, author and motivational speaker, Jeff Ritter is recognized for his unique approach to teaching the game. A consistent presence in the world of golf media, Jeff’s articles appear in Golf Digest Magazine, GolfWRX, Golf Tips Magazine, Golf Punk Magazine in the United Kingdom, The A Position , POP Golf Magazine Mexico and the Arizona Republic. He has also been seen and heard on ESPN, FOX Sports, FOX Sports Radio, Sirius XM Radio and The Golf Channel. In 2010 Jeff was named by Golf Digest Magazine as one of the Best Young Teachers in America! Jeff resides in Phoenix, Ariz., where he operates out of the Raven Golf Club Phoenix. As the National Director of Instruction for Nike Golf Schools and Junior Camps, he spends his summers running Nike Junior Golf Camps Flagship location in Pebble Beach, Calif. Jeff's marque initiative is a high-performance, lifestyle-based coaching brand called "Make The Turn." The high-energy curriculum inspires players with the tools and support to effectively elevate their games both on and off the course. Programs include: 3 Days Schools, Executive Athlete Retreats, Online Training, Weekend Challenges, as well as Mindset, Fitness and Nutrition based strategies. For more information, visit: www.jeffrittergolf.com

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Golf 101: How to play golf (with Jake Hutt)

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Yes, you read that right. We’re talking about how to play golf. We at GolfWRX pride ourselves in not only supplying info to the golf junkies out there but to also help along the new golfers that just want to get started.

No, we won’t be discussing “tour issue” head weights or “shallowing” the club in transition. This is a BASIC look into how to play golf—how a new golfer would walk to the first tee, for the first time, and have some fun. If you dig deep that is the spirit to GolfWRX.com as a whole. Enjoying the game.

I’ve brought in some help on this one: A coach who I think has whittled down the basics to their core. Jake Hutt., look him up on IG, it’s “golf for dummies” for basically every type of player out there. Jake, like George Gankas and some others, has what I would call the “voice of the new generation.” It’s the fun, laidback, non-traditional style that my kids will be learning from in years to come. So why not introduce him to the WRX community now?

More bio: Class A PGA Professional Jake Hutt teaches out of The Stanford University Golf Course and currently lives in San Carlos, California. He can be found on Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube under @Jakehuttgolf.

We are doing this breakdown of how to play golf in a very simple way. Yes, people will chime in about what we missed and explained incorrectly but hey, it wouldn’t be a real post without it.

We will do a checklist of the basics: Posture, grip, and an ABC of the motion for a full swing, chip, and a putt.

How to play golf

Posture

Stand straight up, put your arms on your legs, and tilt forward until your fingertips touch just above your knee caps. Let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders. This will feel similar to the posture when shooting a free throw in basketball.

Grip

How would you pick up a suitcase with your left hand? Now replace the suitcase with a golf club. That’s how your left hand goes on the club. To figure out where to put the right hand get in you golf posture and clap your hands together. Now without moving your left shoulder and letting your right arm bend move your hands so they’re just to the right of your right pant pocket. The left arm should be parallel to the ground. Now look at the position of your hand. The palm will either face the ground, the horizon, or the sky. Where the palm points here is where the palm should face when holding a golf club.

Swing

All a golf swing is is throwing the club around your body without letting go of it. If you hear it swoosh, it’s a swing. Once you learn to swoosh the club the next step is learning to hit the middle. To train this spray foot powder on the your clubface and observe where impact is after your attempt to hit the ball. If the ball mark shows up on the toe of the club try and hit the opposite part of the clubface (the heel) on the next shot—repeat the same process for the opposite miss (mark shows up on heel of club). Over time, you’ll need less exaggeration to hit the middle of the clubface. With enough training, this skill will become learned and will require no conscious thought.

Chipping

Stand with your feet close together, the ball off your trail foot, and the handle off the left leg. Lift the heel of the club slightly off the ground so the handle of the club is more vertical. Now make a longer, faster feeling putting stroke. The ball should pop in the air land on the green and roll. The less lofted the club the lower the ball will go and the more it will run. The more lofted the club the higher the ball will launch and less it will roll.

Putting

The most important part of putting is hitting the middle of the clubface. The faster you swing the putter the further the ball rolls. The slower you swing the putter the shorter the ball rolls.

how to play golf putting

How to play golf: Putting. Hitting the center of the putter face is the most most important thing.

The ball starts where the putter face is pointing whether it be straight right or left. To get a feel for speed imagine the effort it would take to roll a ball to the hole. Use that feel to create a putting stroke. Putting greens are not flat the ball will curve left or right. To help figure out which way a green rolls stand halfway between the ball and hole. Ask yourself which foot has more pressure on it. If you feel more pressure on your left foot the putt will break left and more pressure on the right foot means the putt will break right. If the putt breaks right the putter face should point left of the hole at impact. If the putt breaks left the putter face should point somewhere right of the hole at impact.

We’ll be back with more of this entry-level discussion of how to play golf. Let us know in the comments if there are any areas you’d like Jake to dive into!

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Clement: The best video for beginner golfers ever

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One of the deep expertise we have is knowing what side you need to be swinging from to enjoy your best golf. Sometimes it’s both sides like me! So many professionals on tour are including left-handed swings (for the right-handed player) in their warm-up routines and practice routines as a great way to create muscle confusion. Our fabulous kinesiologist, Munashe Masawi, confirms this through his studies and personal training for his grueling sport of football.

But there is always one side that fires better, feels smoother, and has the potential for a lot more than the other for many golfers. Which one are you?

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Clement: Important video on grip! (dare we say “historic!”)

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We so much love being historically correct! Back when I started teaching 35 years ago, when I looked at what the top 5 coaches were teaching, I knew I had to forge my own way. Not only did it not make sense anatomically, it did not make any sense neurologically either! Fast forward to today and we talk about ground forces and how to let the hips turn in the backswing and grip? WHOA, DID THEY MISS THE BOAT THERE!!

This video really takes the cake and REMOVES ALL QUESTIONS AND DOUBT ABOUT GRIP; where to hold it, grip pressure and IN OUR OPINION, THE FIRST TIME IT HAS BEEN REVEALED IN IT’S FULL ANATOMICAL FUNCTIONALITY.

This will end all debates about the “weak grip vs strong grip” argument!

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