This is actually a very effective practice drill that you can try to improve the contact of your chip shots.

Short game and the one-handed chip

In our lessons here at the Golf Academy we often ask golfers to rate the different areas of their game. This can help us to find out a little bit more about their game and gauge how they view their own performance.

I’m always surprised at how people review the qualities of their individual golf game; usually claiming that their short game is fine and the long game is the area that needs improvement. Usually they can describe in good detail where their long game is at, how they hit the ball, what’s working well and what can improve. When asked about short game it’s often a very quick response along the lines of: “Yeah, short game and putting is not bad.”

I am sure I speak for many instructors when I say: pay more attention to your short game! Take time to accurately review all aspects of your game and (if done properly) you will often be surprised at the results. Before designing a training programme I would personally like to see a minimum of 10 rounds of data such as missed fairways/greens, directions of misses and detailed putting stats. Only after this thorough analysis would you begin to understand your own game properly.

Do this for your next few rounds of golf and I think you might be surprised at the results. When you think that one part of your game needs improvement, it may well transpire that in actual fact a completely different area needs work. For example, if your goal for next season is to make single figure handicap, how would you react if I said you probably only need to hit maybe 6 greens in regulation per 18 holes? The moral of the story is that an effective short game can make a world of difference.

On the subject of short game, those eager golf readers among us will last week have heard that a golfer has just finished in the top 15 on the Challenge Tour by chipping one-handed. Jason Palmer was close to putting his clubs away for good until he adopted the one handed chipping technique on the course – which brought him amazing results.

This is actually a very effective practice drill that you can try to improve the contact of your chip shots. Chipping with only your right hand (left hand for leftys) will minimise any wrist break and also encourages a downward attack angle which leads to good striking.

one hand chip

Keep the shaft leaning forwards at all times. Notice how the wrist angle hasn’t really changed throughout the entire swing. Turn the shoulders through impact so that you’re facing the target.

Give it a go and see if your chipping improves!

Words by Blair Cross, St Andrews Links Golf Academy Instructor

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