Fix Your Up-and-Down Golf Game with Proper Fundamentals

If you often come up short in the short game, you may just need a little work on the basics.

For starters, your hands should be ahead of the ball when addressing a golf chip shot. It's all but impossible to chip with authority if your hands lag the clubhead. (Think of a chip as a miniature iron shot.)

Another common flaw is using the hands and wrists when chipping. Instead, a stiff-wristed motion – similar to the putting stroke – is recommended.

1. Take your address with the feet a few inches apart and the ball midway between them.

2. Move the hands (and thus the club's handle) slightly toward your left pocket. A good checkpoint is to have the back of the right hand even with your zipper.

3. Make a short backswing, with little or no hinging of the wrists, so that the triangle formed by the arms and hands remains intact.

4. Hold this position as you swing through; try to return your hands to the address position at impact.

You may find this action awkward at first, since most golfers instinctively hinge the wrists on the takeaway. Before long, though, it will feel natural – and your chips will fly and roll consistently toward the hole.