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Huge discrepancy in chipping advice. Mickelson/Sieckmann


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#1 TheCityGame

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:41 AM

Here's Phil Mickelson on instagram talking about the proper position of the lead wrist in the chipping motion.

https://www.instagra...ton_share_sheet

Inverse angle, he says. "Shouldn't be a straight line. DEFINITELY shouldn't be a V. Your hands have GOT to be ahead of the club. This keeps the leading edge down."

But, I've been reading through this new James Sieckmann book and he is basically saying the COMPLETE OPPOSITE. ACtually. . .no "basically about it". He's saying the complete opposite. These ideas are irreconcilable. I could show you screenshots and quotes, but here's some online evidence. . .if you go to the 4:00 minute mark of this video.

https://www.golfchan...short-game-tips

QUOTE : "A lot of people have been taught -- and erroneously so -- to keep your hands ahead and not let them pass. [when you look at great players] the cup is maintained in their left wrist."

I guess in my opinion, the difference between the two styles is this. . .

In Mick's style, if you're a little bit fat, you're going to be punished; the front edge is going into the ground and you're turning the sod over it  (and this is one reason he really prefers to play it closer to the back foot). But, you can get away with being a little bit thin. You'll catch it a couple grooves low, but a descending blow with the leading edge staying down would have to be REALLY thin to blade it. Furthermore, this is a move that feels closer to a full shot move.

In Sieck's style, you can get away with being a little bit fat, but if you come up at all out of that shot, you've got the leading edge coming directly into the ball from a pretty shallow angle and you're thinning one over the green.

Both of these guys claim Seve as a practitioner of their technique. They both claim that they're using the bounce, but Sieckmann claims (in the book) that Phil's technique is not using a wedge properly.  He doesn't call Phil by name but says, "Bounce is your friend. The only way to unlock its benefits is to let the clubhead pass your hands through impact so that more of the sole comes in contact with the turf."

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#2 juststeve

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:45 AM

IMO the Sieckmann style will suit far more golfers.  Mickelson is hyper talented and can do things consistently that I can't do.  Bounce is your friend.

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#3 Albatross85

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:49 AM

Phil is a savant with amazing hand eye coordination. I do not think the way he hits wedges is good for most people. Hinge and hold...etc. Phil also play huge amounts of bounce on his wedges for this reason IMO.

There are many ways to skin a cat. I use the bounce and the leading edge depending on the shot and lie. So i guess i would fall in both camps.
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#4 MonteScheinblum

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 11:50 AM

What I teach is more the JS way.  One is not better than the other. I BELIEVE the way I teach it has a greater margin of error.

Three things to consider.

1.  Seve ca be seen hitting shots both ways.
2.  Phil can be seen hitting shots both ways and I watched him practice what would be called JS way for 2 straight hours a few years ago.
3.  You have to be careful with, “There is only one right way.”


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#5 TheCityGame

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:03 PM

Monte -- I have your video about this, and yes, your "use the bounce" style is definitely more in line with JS. (good video for people out there).

I understand that Phil is probably not completely reducing his margin of error, but it bothers me more than anything how dogmatic JS's seems about his style.

I know this will sound opposite, but when it's wet out (and it's been wet all year in Maryland), I like Phil's style better. I feel like I'm just coming down on the ball and it's ball->turf. I understand this totally negates the benefits of bounce. But. with JS's style with wet turf, I feel like I'm always catching a little turf first and even with bounce my club gets sucked in a little. After all, if you're RELYING on bounce, it has to have something to bounce off and can't just sink.

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#6 jut111

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:17 PM

Your hands can be in front of the club while also engaging the bounce. Not mutually exclusive

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#7 CasualLie

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:20 PM

There should be a "disclaimer" in front of every one of Phil's short game videos/tips.  Something like:

"When I was 8, I spent the entire day at a golf course, at age 9 worked at the range in exchange for time to hit balls, and at age 10 my Dad put a chipping area and green in the backyard.  I have been doing this for a very long time"

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#8 Obee

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:25 PM

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 07 January 2019 - 11:50 AM, said:

What I teach is more the JS way.  One is not better than the other. I BELIEVE the way I teach it has a greater margin of error.

Three things to consider.

1.  Seve ca be seen hitting shots both ways.
2.  Phil can be seen hitting shots both ways and I watched him practice what would be called JS way for 2 straight hours a few years ago.
3.  You have to be careful with, "There is only one right way."

I love the way you communicate, Monte. Your choice of words matters as an instructor and as a communicator, and when you say things like: "I BELIEVE..." and even emphasize "BELIEVE," you are so far ahead of the vast majority of instructors who are not willing to acknowledge that there are MULTIPLE ways to accomplish almost anything. Not acknowledging that constantly is a miss for most instructors.

I've found that once we get rid of ego, it's easy for us to speak like that as a matter of course when it comes to golf and golfers. I much, much prefer that. So thank you. :-)

I will add this:

Mixing the two styles is, quite frankly, very difficult to do. I took a lesson with Sieckman and have learned directly from Pernice, and during the time I was first transitioning to the Sieckman/Pernice method, I shanked and duffed LOTS of shots. It's just a completely different "release" and if you are used to playing shots with moderate to significant shaft lean at impact, then Sieckman's method is going to be tough to master quickly. It takes time to switch and you will be "in between" for a good many rounds. You can "get it" on the short game area pretty quickly, but translating it to the course is much, much more difficult than I had imagined it would be.

Once I got there, though, my short game became much more reliable and versatile.
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#9 Krt22

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 12:32 PM

View PostCasualLie, on 07 January 2019 - 12:20 PM, said:

There should be a "disclaimer" in front of every one of Phil's short game videos/tips.  Something like:

"When I was 8, I spent the entire day at a golf course, at age 9 worked at the range in exchange for time to hit balls, and at age 10 my Dad put a chipping area and green in the backyard.  I have been doing this for a very long time"

And these videos are shot in his backyard..which is a golf course lol

In one of the other videos he recently posted, he did mention engaging the bounce for standard chips.

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#10 gators78

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 01:48 PM

1) Using bounce is extremely beneficial
2) Phil is an all-time great talent, to him everything is simple (doesn't help the rest of us)
3) I struggled mightily using the JS method, with an already wobbly chipping style standing over the ball thinking release it left me with a really inconsistent strike.

I ended up subscribing to Golf Better Tuscon, he errs more to the straighter arms-body release-with bounce as a baseline then varying from there once you have it down.

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#11 PreppySlapCut

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:06 PM

I’d rather people understand how the sole interacts with the turf.  Additionally, Phil matches his technique w/ a forward ball position and spine tilt to shallow the strike.
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#12 bladehunter

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:07 PM

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 07 January 2019 - 11:50 AM, said:

What I teach is more the JS way.  One is not better than the other. I BELIEVE the way I teach it has a greater margin of error.

Three things to consider.

1.  Seve ca be seen hitting shots both ways.
2.  Phil can be seen hitting shots both ways and I watched him practice what would be called JS way for 2 straight hours a few years ago.
3.  You have to be careful with, “There is only one right way.”

Bingo.  Phil hits whatever shot he sees for the  situation. And May not even know it. He plays on instinct like any good wedge player.  Throw out the hardline methods. Learn what happens with weight shift vs leading edge and learn to read the lie and youre on the way.
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#13 Obee

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:08 PM

View PostPreppySlapCut, on 07 January 2019 - 02:06 PM, said:

I’d rather people understand how the sole interacts with the turf.  Additionally, Phil matches his technique w/ a forward ball position and spine tilt to shallow the strike.

That completely depends on the shot he is hitting. Feel sometimes plays the ball while outside of his back foot on little chips around for Green. He will play those with a 60 or 64 super back in his stance and de-lofted.
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#14 DavePelz4

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:09 PM

Why not try both techniques and see which is the best and most repeatable for you?

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#15 TheCityGame

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:19 PM

View PostDavePelz4, on 07 January 2019 - 02:09 PM, said:

Why not try both techniques and see which is the best and most repeatable for you?
Why not have a discussion about the pros and cons of both methods and try to understand why two very different techniques are both promoted so strongly?

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#16 Circaflex

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:22 PM

Recently I use more of the phil method, thats how my dad taught me and it works out well. I still need to learn the higher, softer landing shot and thats my biggest struggle.
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#17 DavePelz4

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:30 PM

View PostTheCityGame, on 07 January 2019 - 02:19 PM, said:

View PostDavePelz4, on 07 January 2019 - 02:09 PM, said:

Why not try both techniques and see which is the best and most repeatable for you?
Why not have a discussion about the pros and cons of both methods and try to understand why two very different techniques are both promoted so strongly?

Think that's what is happening but at the end of the day, it's all about which serves you the best.  There are a variety of ways to hit a sand shot, a fade, a draw, etc.  But ultimately, it's what works best for you and helps you shoot your lowest scores.

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#18 jmkenn0

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 02:58 PM

I can do them both, to varying degrees of success.  If you aren't committed to practicing either way, I'd say find one thing that works ok for you and stick with it.  If you use big soled clubs like pings, chip with your PW and 9-iron.  I try all sorts of stupid shots around the green, but when I really, really need to get up and down, I'm concentrating on where can I reasonably land the ball so it ends up in a place where I have 5 feet or less to putt from.  If its a funky lie or the shot dictates a chip i'm not super-comfortable with, then I move the goal to 10 feet or less for the putt.

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#19 dasams

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:09 PM

I use both methods.  Phil's for chip shots that roll more than they carry and JS's for pitches that carry more than they roll.  In general, my ball is back in my stance for Phil's and more centered for JS's.

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#20 GSDriver

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:29 PM

Go with what works for you.  How can one argue with Phil as one of the top short game players of all time, arguably and I think so.

I use Phil's technique and works for me, YMMV.

You can probably find other instructors who profess another method, so it's up to each player to find what works for them.

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#21 Shrinkwr4p

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:35 PM

Justin Rose is really interesting on Seve vs PM here -

https://www.youtube....h?v=-Du2qLG6qpY

Sound quality is poor at the start but it's worth persisting.

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#22 Cwebb

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 03:39 PM

I think Mickelson's preference can be more reliable from a variety of lie conditions, whether a tight lie or nestled down in grass

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#23 MonteScheinblum

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:03 PM

View PostCwebb, on 07 January 2019 - 03:39 PM, said:

I think Mickelson's preference can be more reliable from a variety of lie conditions, whether a tight lie or nestled down in grass

I find the opposite to be true with clients.  The hinge and hold only works on one specific shot while the other way is more versatile for different lies.

Ain’t golf grand?



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#24 spoonhead

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 04:56 PM

I have found that both techniques work, but I use the hinge/hold most of the time.  It has fewer moving parts.

The key is practice, I had my left knee replaced a while back and for 3 months I could not take a full swing.  
To say I practiced my short game a lot is an understatement. Not surprisingly my chipping ability improved immensely.

Practice a lot and do not decelerate and it will become a lot easier.

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#25 Obee

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 05:52 PM

View Postdasams, on 07 January 2019 - 03:09 PM, said:

I use both methods.  Phil's for chip shots that roll more than they carry and JS's for pitches that carry more than they roll.  In general, my ball is back in my stance for Phil's and more centered for JS's.

I love this and think I might want to adopt it as a way to determine which I'm going to use.

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#26 DavePelz4

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 05:54 PM

View Postdasams, on 07 January 2019 - 03:09 PM, said:

I use both methods.  Phil's for chip shots that roll more than they carry and JS's for pitches that carry more than they roll.  In general, my ball is back in my stance for Phil's and more centered for JS's.

Same here.  If the desired ball flight is to be low and running, hinge and hold is a great technique.  If it's a higher ball flight, the hands definitely release.

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#27 Cwebb

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 08:04 PM

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 07 January 2019 - 04:03 PM, said:

View PostCwebb, on 07 January 2019 - 03:39 PM, said:

I think Mickelson's preference can be more reliable from a variety of lie conditions, whether a tight lie or nestled down in grass

I find the opposite to be true with clients.  The hinge and hold only works on one specific shot while the other way is more versatile for different lies.

Ain't golf grand?

Absolutely.  Whatever works and gives confidence.  I think most everyone should at least spend some time trying different methods for different shots

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#28 oikos1

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 01:43 AM

Pick one. Play both. 80/20 split knowing that when you go off script, you've given it at least a slight bit more thought than your after round plans with Christine in hospitality.

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#29 A.Princey

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 02:16 AM

The hinge and hold is much less prone to error, especially with the ball back in your stance a little. The bounce is still engaging the ground unless your taking a Paul Bunyan chop down at the ball. The swing arc virtually assures you will at least strike the ball first, vs the other, where timing is paramount. Fat/thin shots abound with JS if you flip or release wrong. Buried lies do require more decision making at address to decide how to play each individual shot. I cannot tell you how many people I've played with who try and get super cute with a chip, and as they try and "scoop" under the ball they either blade or chunk the hell out of it. Just pretend your putting(ball back and hands forward) and "sweep" down at the ball with some assertiveness. For short range, the hinge and hold is more or less an aggressive putting motion with a neg AoA and forward press.

Even when I like to engage the bounce a lot or open the face, I'm cutting more across the ball with a straight lead arm with respect the the shaft. The 3 exceptions are buried lies, in fluffy bunkers or flop shots. Here, there's a definite release, but also because the shot requires more speed. If it's a decent grass lie and there's nothing crazy between the hole and I, it's hinge and hold all the way. The only wedge shot I really fear anymore is a longish flop from super muddy/soft fairways. Btw I am a fairly competent wedge player.

I also believe most wedges don't have enough bounce built in, especially for the amateur player. Crazy what's OTR vs some of the custom grinds/options, as it would seem they should be opposite. Some of the peak sole angles on tour grinds make a 45* with the leading edge, while Joe Regular has a 6-8* full sole Cleveland SW from Dick's that has no real usefulness except wide open in a bunker. Bounce is your friend unless you play on cement. I'll shut up now....

Edited by A.Princey, 08 January 2019 - 03:04 AM.

Ping G 10.5*, Fuji Pro 63-R 42.75"
'16 M1 3w HL 17*, Xcon 7-S(untipped) 41"
Ping Rapture 3i, AWT-R
Ping G25 4-G, DG-R400
Vokey 56(57*), 60(63*) DG-R400
Scotty 1998 Tei Xperimental 33.25"(or any of 10 other putters...)

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#30 powerfade66

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 05:33 AM

I was watching a lot of films from when Phil was winning majors and thinking about exactly this while they showed great pitches over and over again and i think he ends up with very similar dynamics. You can have that hinge and hold intent and yet still end up with quite a vertical shaft through the strike. Phil does it by tilting under. Very similar to his full swing where he doesn’t cover it with his upper body as much as some of the great strikers. If Phil used a finesse wedge type release on pitches he would probably struggle for a while until his tilts were more neutral.


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