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My 2 Cents: The best chipping drill ever

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If you struggle with your pitching and chipping, hitting the ever-popular chunks, skulls, and flipping at the ball at impact, then I have a simple, yet effective practice drill for you to try.

When hitting this type of short shot, your pivot should “pull” your arms, hands and club through impact, keeping the club head lagging behind your hands. But when things get out of sequence, impact becomes wildly inconsistent. In fact, when your pivot stops, the lag pressure on the club shaft is lost and the hands take over with a flip — a move that is the death of any short game.

So for this drill, all you need is astro-turf or a tight carpet in your house, a few pennies and a wedge. Set up to the two coins about two inches apart, as pictured below, and set up to hit a normal greenside pitch to the rear penny. Then, make your normal pitching motion and try to sweep both coins off the ground.

StickneyCoinDrill

If you flip at the “ball,” or in this case, the first coin, you’ll either miss the coins entirely or only hit the first one. Remember, the goal here is to hit both coins every time.

StickneyDrillCoins

This drill will subconsciously teach you the correct pivot sequence, and will certainly keep you from flipping at the coins — and eventually, at a golf ball.

After you can do this drill successfully time after time, a golf ball will look like a beachball on the course and your confidence will soar. It’s also a great drill to do in the winter winter… and by spring, you’ll be getting up and down from everywhere.

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: [email protected]

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Nick Coleman

    Sep 17, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    This is similar to a drill with a ball and tee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EzCinK-glo

  2. Jack

    Sep 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Would you grip down on the grip as clubs get longer

  3. Scooter McGavin

    Sep 16, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Can I still do this drill in the summer summer?

  4. Steelydan

    Sep 16, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    ChuckB, sounds like ingraining proper ball-divot sequence to me! A real fundamental.

  5. Josh

    Sep 15, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Not dinging up my Miura’s with no pennies. Thanks tho. 😛

    • Stump

      Sep 15, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Guess you cant afford another wedge

    • larrybud

      Sep 16, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      You’re not supposed to hit them 100 yards!

    • Scooter McGavin

      Sep 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      I’m pretty sure zinc and copper are a lot softer than steel and chrome wedges… I don’t think you need to worry.

  6. 2cheese

    Sep 15, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Could you translate this drill to irons in order to better improve ballstriking overall?

    • tom stickney

      Sep 15, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      Yes you could 2cheese

      • Justin

        Sep 15, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        but you’d have to bring about $20.00 in pennies unless you wanted to walk out on the range and pick them up each time, haha

    • ChuckyB

      Sep 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      I was playing golf with someone once who told me of a drill similar to this but for full shots that may be of some help to you; so far as I know it was specific to iron shots. Basically, you would place something in front of your ball (1-2″), such as a piece of a broken tee (which can easily be found lying around everywhere on a driving range) when hitting shots on a range; when you hit the ball, you would also attempt to hit/pick/brush the object as well; from my understanding, the intent is to shallow or level out the bottom or your swing arch, so as to improve your ball striking. Hope this helps.

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Clement: Most overlooked visual detail for eliminating slice spin on driver

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When you see this video, you will slap your forehead and think, “Wow, no wonder I was slicing the driver!”

This is the most overlooked aspect of driver setup. Once you have taken care of this detail, you will be ready to enjoy one of the most satisfying aspects of the game.

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The Wedge Guy: Top 7 short game mistakes

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I’ve written hundreds of articles as “The Wedge Guy” and answered thousands of emails in my 30 years of focused wedge design. So, I thought I’d compile a list of what I believe are the most common mistakes golfers make around the greens that prevent them from optimizing their scoring.

So here goes, not in any particular order.

Tempo

Probably the most common error I see is a tempo that is too quick and “jabby”. That likely comes from the misunderstood and overdone advice “accelerate through the ball.” I like to compare playing a golf hole to painting a room, and your short shots are your “trim brushes”. They determine how the finished work turns out, and a slower stroke delivers more precision as you get closer to the green and hole.

Set Up/Posture

To hit good chips and pitches, you need to “get down”. Get closer to your work for better precision. Too many golfers I see stand up too tall and grip the club to the end. And having your weight favored to the lead foot almost guarantees a proper strike.

Grip Pressure

A very light grip on the club is essential to good touch and a proper release through the impact zone. Trust me, you cannot hold a golf club too lightly – your body won’t let you. Concentrate on your forearms; if you can feel any tenseness in the muscles in your forearms, you are holding on too tightly.

Hand position

Watch the tour players hit short shots on TV. Their arms are hanging naturally from their shoulders so that their hands are very close to their upper thighs at address and through impact. Copy that and your short game will improve dramatically.

Lack of Body Core Rotation

When you are hitting short shots, the hands and arms have to begin and stay in front of the torso throughout the swing. If you don’t rotate your chest and shoulders back and through, you won’t develop good consistency in distance or contact.

Club selection

I see two major errors here. Some golfers always grab the sand or lob wedge when they miss a green. If you have lots of green to work with and don’t need that loft, a PW or 9-iron will give you much better results. The other error is seen in those golfers who are “afraid” of their wedge and are trying to hit tough recoveries with 8- and 9-irons. That doesn’t work either. Go to your practice green and see what happens with different clubs when given the same swing . . . then take that knowledge to the course.

Clubhead/grip relationship

This error falls into two categories. The first is those golfers who forward press so much that they dramatically change the loft of the club. At address and impact the grip should be slightly ahead of the clubhead. I like to focus on the hands, rather than the club, and just think of my left hand leading my right through impact. Which brings me to the other error – allowing the clubhead to pass the hands through impact. If you let the clubhead do that, good shots just cannot happen. And that is caused by you trying to “hit” the ball with the clubface, rather than swinging the entire club through impact.

So, there are my top 7. There are obviously others, but if you spend just a bit of time working on these, your short game will get better in a hurry.

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Clement: Gently fire the long irons out there

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The secret to long irons is the full range of motion while keeping the strain level below 3/10. this engages the kinetic chain of the human body and delivers UNAVOIDABLE power! We show you how the simplest of tasks will yield the full measure of the body’s self-preserving system to deliver ridiculously easy long iron shots! And as far as set up is concerned, many of you are missing a key ingredient compared to the short irons that we divulge in this video

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