There’s no doubt in my mind that the reason Tiger Woods, Phil Michelson and other top PGA and LPGA tour golfers shoot low scores consistently is because of their exceptional ability to get their golf ball to within six feet of the hole from all types of lies and conditions around the greens, and then make the putt more than fifty percent of the time.
Imagine how much better you would play if you could get a high percentage of your chip and pitch shots six to ten feet from the hole or even closer consistently, and then make fifty percent or more of the putts time and time again?
By far, the easiest way I know for amateur golfers to lower their golf handicap and lower their golf scores consistently is to improve their short game skills. The irony of this statement is that the most neglected area of golf advancement for most amateur golfers is their short game?
In this article I’m going to share with you the most common short game flaw I have discovered in nearly every amateur golfers technique I’ve worked with, and how you can eliminate it from your game for ever.
The driving ranges are full of golfers trying to perfect their golfing swing, but have a look over at the putting and chipping greens, and it will remind you of why average golfers are maintaining higher handicaps than they should be.
You can’t blame golfers though. The majority of golf instruction books don’t help simply because they primarily focus on full swing technique, and the golf books that do cover short game techniques rarely provide you with sound, easy to learn techniques that you can rely on when it really matters -and that’s what’s really important! For the most part, they restate the same old chestnuts that have filled the pages of golf books and golf magazines for years.
The golf marketing machine convinces many amateur golfers to buy the latest driver to play better golf, or a set of brand named wedges, or a face balanced putter with a specially milled face, that all the tour pros are supposed to use. The trouble is what if you have all the right gear but you still don’t know how to get your ball close to the hole?
I made it my purpose to develop a unique and very easy to learn short game system for every amateur golfer, which would dramatically improve their skill to chip and pitch their ball closer to the hole, so they could make more putts and have lower scores.
After more than twenty years teaching golfers at my short game schools, I finally worked out a way for every golfer to pitch and chip more successfully, so that in less than one hour, my students were pitching and chipping more like highly competent golfers who played off low handicaps.
This didn’t happen overnight, but through continuous testing, trial and error, in my formative years of teaching golfers short game skills I started to notice major flaws in the typical short game techniques being taught by me and other golf instructors.
It dawned on me that I wasn’t helping my students to pitch and chip more effectively, like I wanted to, in fact what I was doing was setting them on the path to frustration and distress.
I discovered that the dreaded golf shank, bladed chip and pitch shot (hitting the equator of the golf ball) fat shot (hitting the ground before the ball) and inconsistent distance control were all directly connected to these popular methods of chipping and pitching.
So I set about understanding exactly what the formula was for chipping and pitching success, and by studying the very best short game players and teachers methods, and also through careful examination of flawed short game techniques of thousands of golfers who have attended my golf school over the years, I discovered the missing keys to short game success.
Eliminate the Bending Wrist Condition – The First Key to Amateur Short Game Success
I don’t know whether you have had this experience, or know someone who has, but many golfers bend their left wrist though impact. Sometimes called scooping or flipping the wrists, this particular flaw in a short game stroke creates inconsistent contact and numerous related problems.
It’s true, bending the left wrist through impact will create major problems for you, but trying to stop it bending won’t change a thing. You see I discovered that the problem wasn’t the bending wrist, because this was simply the effect of the golfers desire to loft the golf ball into the air from its lie on the ground.
The problem is that the bending wrist is a conditioned pattern of behaviour that requires more than a simple verbal suggestion or quick fix drill to not bend your wrist through impact. The bending wrist condition is problematic because this flaw in your technique is usually associated with two factors that work in tandem. So let’s imagine for a moment that you were hitting a pitch shot approximately twenty yards.
The golf club of many of the golfers I’ve worked with travels too quickly behind their body line in the backswing (too quickly to the inside), and their wrist cock angle is greater than forty five degrees. Now, because the club has travelled too much to the inside, you are required to push the golf club back in front of your body quickly to square the club face up at impact.
Also, because of the excessive wrist cock, the golf club will more than likely be travelling too quickly too soon, which will require putting the brakes on the downswing. This combination of pushing the golf club in front of your body quickly, and decelerating the club head at the same time, leads to the bending wrist condition.
When you think about a sound putting stroke you can picture a golf club that functions with three important characteristics;
1. The golf shaft travels backwards and forwards with almost no curvature to the inside as it travels backwards and forwards. Imagine that the golf shaft was laying flat on a sheet of cardboard and it simply moved back and forward along this cardboard without lifting off it.
2. The putter face has very little to no rotation as it travels backwards and forwards. Imagine that the club face stays square to its path throughout the back stroke and forward stroke like a paddle wheel on a Mississippi River paddle steamer.
3. The putting stroke ideally travels like a pendulum where the putter accelerates as it goes back, pauses, and then accelerates through the bottom of the arc and then slows down and eventually stops at a point that is opposite where it began.
Ok, so when you set up to a putter, because it is the shortest club in your bag you will more than likely bend over it more than other clubs in your bag. This helps you move the club on a straighter path as it travels back and forth in the stroke.
Following are the some of the critical keys for the green side chip shot using the Putt-Pitch Pro Short Game System for amateur golfers.
- Set up to your chip and pitch shots using your putting stance.
- Position your golf ball directly opposite the point of your right shoe for a short chip shot from just off the green.
- Position the grip of your chipping club opposite the centre of your left thigh with the golf shaft directly in-line with your forearms.
- Make sure that your shoulders are as level as possible in the address position with your arms slightly bent (particularly your left arm).
- Make sure that the centre of your shoulders is in front of the golf ball throughout the stroke.
- Swing the golf club back and forwards in as straight a line as you can, and move it like a pendulum so whatever distance it travels back, it travels the same distance going through.
- Maintain your established spine angle until your golf ball comes to rest with your upper body resting on top of your left leg.
When you adopt these suggestions into your own short game and practice them for one month, I guarantee that using this system will turn you into a very proficient chipper and pitcher around the greens, and will undoubtedly lead to increasing golf confidence, lower golf scores and provide you with greater fun and satisfaction.
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