Hit Down to Stop Scooping Chip Shots – Golf Video
Now one of the biggest flaws that I will often see in people's chipping technique is they're actually trying scoop the ball up into the air and that can cause a lot of problems with the striking of the shot and the distance and the control of your shot.
Now the scoop is a common thing because it's quite an instinctive thing to do. A lot of people, when they try and hit something high up into the air or throw something up into the air, it involves this hitting from underneath action. Simply if I took a ball and now go ahead and throw it onto the green, your hand would be under the ball as you let go of it to throw it up into the air the shape of a chip or a pitch shot.
So when you try and implement that into a golf technique, it's flawed, it doesn't work because the ball is on the ground. I can't possibly come underneath the golf ball if the ball is already on the floor, I'm going to hit the ground, and if I try and scoop it but miss the ground, I'll actually hit the top of the ball trying to scoop it and thin it, so we get a lot of chip shots that are fat shots or thin shots by people trying to help the ball up into the air.
You got to remember, this isn't your job to hit the ball in the air, it's the club's job. So take a golf club that's got plenty of loft on it, one of your wedges, even your sand wedge or lob wedge, but then try and hit down on the ball and actually try and hit the ball a bit lower. Now by you trying to hit the ball lower, the club will still hit the ball up in the air, you'll have no worries about that and hopefully you'll get a better contact.
A nice little chipping exercise, a little drill to see whether you can do this correctly, take a nice addressed position but this time with your feet really, really close together, place your hands a long way in front of your front leg, but leave the club in the middle. So you've actually got quite a lot of angle through the back of your left hand and arm there. Make a little back swing, again, increase this angle and now, don't let that angle change as you hit down on the ball. And the feeling there is that you're going to strike downwards, hitting the floor in front of your front foot over on this side and avoiding any backwards lean or scoop.
So you can have a little practice of that, maintain the angle and hit down keeping the angle, not letting it scoop or flick, hitting down every time, then once you've got the feeling of doing that, you can bring that back into your normal technique. So your normal chipping technique here, hands well in front, maintain the angle and hit down and don't let the angle change. The flick and the scoop will often look like this in the follow-through so maybe you could identify that but if you had a bad strike, and then you look at your left arm, your front arm, you'll see it's got the big scoop in it. That tells me the club head was trying to lift the ball up into the air, which is quite a big problem when you're chipping.
So, avoiding the scooping in your chipping action should improve your strike and your control of your short shots.