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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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Instruction

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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Clement: Help your girlfriend or wife get some extra yards fast!

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Nothing beats playing golf with your life partner especially when things are going well! This video has a couple great tips on the art of getting through the ball and for most women, a strong grip is a great asset to that! Keep your eyes open for our new podcast premièring this upcoming Tuesday which will focus on golf instruction that gets you to your next level without any positional thoughts, golf fitness tips that will help you strengthen the parts of your kinetic chain needed to perform optimally and great tips to help your loved ones perform better without the mental fatigue and eyes rolling.

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