In golf, following your instincts is usually a bad idea. Take chipping, for example.

    Most golfers hear a little voice telling them that to get the ball airborne, they must lift it into the air. So they hit the ball as though the club were a spoon, flicking the hands and wrists to create a scooping action that doesn’t work very well.

    Instead of trusting your instincts, you should trust the club itself. The face is built with loft to do exactly that – loft the ball into the air. This works especially well when you strike the ball with a descending blow.

    It’s important to learn proper technique through repetition, since many players find it counter-intuitive. A big key is keeping the hands ahead of the club through impact, rather than rolling or flipping them over.

    Here’s a drill that will instill the correct chipping motion:

  • Take your pitching wedge and grip it about 2/3 of the way down the shaft.
  • Assume your setup with your normal posture, the clubhead above the ball, your hands slightly ahead, weight on your lead foot.
  • The shaft should touch your left (lead) hip, or be just off the hip.
  • Make a backswing and follow-through, with the shaft separating from your body on the follow-through. To execute correctly, you’ll have to keep the left wrist firm beyond impact.
  • If you flick the wrists, the shaft will hit your side or finish in front of your body, pointing right.

  • After you’ve gained a feel for the correct swing, grip the club normally and start hitting shots. Look at the butt end of the club at the finish – it should point away from your body.