by Marc Peterson, CPGA Teaching Professional
It is guaranteed that you will some greens in regulation. Even the best professionals miss 5 or 6 green per round, often leading to chip shots. If this is the case then most amateurs should REALLY work on their chipping strokes, as they will face this situation far more often during a round.
Most of the bad chips are cause by overusing your wrists on the downswing, often causing the clubface to pass your hands before contact.
Most teachers will tell you to keep your wrists firm through impact to avoid a scooping action resulting in poor and inconsistent contact and unacceptable results. Often the dreaded “thin” and “fat” shots. That is a good advice except it creates tension in your hands and forearms and doesn’t give you a lot of feel for the distance of shot required.
Instead of focusing on your hands, the key to good chipping and pitching is to keep your chest turning on the downswing so that the club has no chance to pass your hands before impact. You will get the feeling that the club will never get to the ball but trust me, it will.
So remember to have good crisp chips and pitch shots, turn your chest to the target and allow your hands to react accordingly.