When we talk about the principles of chipping, it really is the quality of strike that is key, and using the bounce correctly is a consequence of the correct delivery position. The principle we work on across our Peter Cowen Academies Dubai, are what we call natural forces allowing gravity to do the work. This style of chipping technique is what has helped the likes of Brooks Koepka and Gary Woodland win Majors in recent years, along with many other of Pete’s players.
Every club in your bag, if you held it by the grip, lifted the head up to the side and let it go, what does it want to do? Return to vertical.
We see a lot of players who stand too far away from the ball at address ,and during the backswing, as you move the club back, it will try to fall, as gravity is always present. As the club reaches parallel to the target line it not only wants to fall to the ground but fall behind you. From here the player will react with the body and the club drops deeper behind.
From this position it is very difficult to get any quality of strike on the ball, so they manipulate the hands leading to having no control of the flight, direction or spin, and it all comes down to the ability of the player’s hand-eye coordination.
What we like to see is the player addressing the ball as close as possible, eyes almost over the ball, so the shaft is vertical, trying to create a constant from the shoulders to the clubhead, with extended arms. Even if the heel of the club is a little off the ground it will not have any negative impact on a short shot. From this position it is an easier movement to take the club straight back, then allow it to drop back on the ball. You will start returning a square clubface consistently to the same position, which will improve your strike pattern.
This simple but effective principle will also reduce any hand drive and shaft lean, avoiding the leading edge to dig, which can be very difficult when chipping into the grain. Implement this style into your short game and watch your chipping improve. If you would like to learn this in more detail please contact any of our three Peter Cowen Academies in Dubai.