Advice from Bradley and Lag on my chipping please

Hi all,

I’ve struggled for two years now with very poor chipping and short pitches. Fat/Thin big divots, you name it i’ve done it…

I’ve tried various things but dont feel i’ve ever got to the bottom of the problem.

Here is a link of me chipping today in the garden, this was actually quite good for me. I was terrible on the course.

I know now more than ever my time for self analysis is over, I think module 1 is slowly seeping through but I am not happy at how sloppy and slow this all looks.

Help me please, I have deliberately done what I do on the course, I seem to struggle to do Bradleys method consistently but understand what he says runs true. I cannot even go into how low I am with my short game

The short game is a weird beast.
Confidence is a big player in the short game.
Here’s my two cents worth on what I see that may help bring that confidence on.

  • I would like to see a hair more openess with the setup…feet and shoulders slightly left of target…club at the target.
  • I would also like to see a little less shaft lean forward at address with the hands and more body lean forward at address. It looks like your body is set up for a full shot delivery with the spine back … yet the hands are pressed forward…I think it makes more sense for control and trajectory to get the sternum slightly ahead of the ball to promote that descending hit without having to press the hands forward so much in an attempt to bring that on.
    It is great to have the hands forward but we want the body leaning forward also , so the angles created at address are more in tune with each other and then throughout the swing the angles of the body and the hands aren’t as severe and fighting one another.
  • You will notice that the club swings quite a way to the inside on your follow through. I think this is in direct correlation to your sternum/spine angle setup at address. If you can lean a little forward into the setup- the swing will become a little more vertical up/down and not so much inside/square/inside…the inside/square/inside needs a lot of timing to perfect on a day to day basis as the hands get a bit more active.
    the more vertical and forward you can get the more the body gets involved and the less work and timing the hands have to provide. on the follow through the clubface shouldn’t cross over and close left,like it is doing.It should be a more vertical strike, and angle hinge the hands and face through so the clubface points skyward into a smallish follow through and doesn’t shut over. If the weight is more forward it is easy to hold that angled hinge through with just body rotation.If the weight is back it creates the chance for the hands to want to flick and help your efforts to lift the ball,which we should avoid at all costs
    You’ll notice the difference when you do it right, as the ball will fly the same height and have the same spin each and every time…which is the key to consistency.

Thanks for the insight. I have calmed down now I heave reflected on a day where I had back to back eagles and all I could think about was the two bladed chips and the fat one on 18 that cost me double bogey :unamused:

Stupid f&*%ing game :mrgreen:

Off to practice that setup before bed :smiley:

How’s the swing feeling Bradley, looking good on the super slow mo…

Edit: This is my first attempt at that setup change

Felt I could be a bit more positive. You’re a legend Mr Hughes and I won’t even mention how poor we were at cricket today :unamused:

that certainly looked better to me.Doing that promotes a descending hit and allows the bounce to work and the body to block and hold with less hand action. It just takes a lot of that flippiness out of the hands which is the main bugger up for most chipping problems.
You will see how your clubface came more upright on the way through and the face held up skyward…that’s what you are after. That holds the loft on the club and provides a more consistent strike which makes the ball carry the same and spin the same and run the same day in and day out so your judgment of shots is much easier.
The setup looked better. You will see by pressing the body forward the angles are similar…there is now no big forward press with your hands at address so things will be synced better. The worse the lie…the more weight you can lean forward to help get more club onto the ball from any situation.
There are many other specialty shots with different hinges and paths and clubs etc…but that stock standard one you are working on there will give you enough confidence and skill to work with probably 80% of all the short shots from inside 40 yards or so.
There are many others like flop shots etc, bump and runs…but what you are doing there will serve it’s purpose for most shots and importantly give you some confidence again because you will start seeing the ball reacting closer to how you want…maybe one day I can get around to doing a chipping video and we can get it up here somewhere
Keep at and hit them well

Hi Bradley, love your work. Your tip here about open stance and clubface has sparked my own shot game. I was a “square clubface set up digger” who used to hit the sod further than the ball. :blush: Look forward learning from you.

At tourneys, I see some pros set up open clubface off even the tightest of lies for short shots. These shots would give me the fits. When you are faced with these shots, do you think of mechanics or is it at that level all about feel for the shot (ie. second nature)? Would love to learn how top pros think.

It becomes second nature, trust and understanding.
Even on the tight lies it works well to have some open face, especially at PGA events. They have perfect lies and the ground although clean and tight is never really firm, so they can have no fear of bouncing the club off the extra firm ground and skulling the shot as long as they execute correctly.
The conditions at everyone’s club varies, but just so long as the ground isn’t baked and like a rock…it is OK to open the face if need be and certainly advisable in most circumstances because the bounce/lift can aid even the slightest mishit on regular or wet turf.
As long as the hands LEAD INTO THE SHOTor the clubface and the hands dead heat into impact … and the face of the club never beats the hands to the ball,… this shot is easy and just like a regular pitch/chip because you use the club how it was designed to help you. If you flick and the club head beats the hands to the ball- then it becomes harder to pull that shot off and danger lurks at every corner

I walked over to the practice green to try out this chipping technique. Now my previous history is that I was a poor chipper as a 17 year old, but as I start playing again as a 34 year old, I realise you can’t ignore chipping, so I’m going to work on getting it this time around. In the 6 weeks I’ve been back at the game, I’ve probably chipped 10 times in the back yard, starting from 25 out of 30 balls being skinny or fat, to getting 15-20 out of 30 being fairly solid but still technique and confidence all over the place each time, as I only had half the ideas together.

Last weekend (just before signing up with ABS) I was using the excellent chipping facilities at my club in 6 ball sets. After warming up, I would get 3-4 in the air, and the other 2-3 fat or skinny. Because I was hitting the ball so bad, I rarely cared if it went near the hole.

I read Bradleys technique, and tried it. Within 5 minutes I was getting 4-5 in the air and could feel the length pretty well too. 5 minutes later, I’m not worried about skinny or fat AT ALL. Another 5 mintues later I’m reading each shot like a medium sized putt, and getting 2-3 easy tap ins, 2-3 6 footers and usually 1 still a decent sized putt. My best set there was nothing more than a 4 footer. I was hitting it so well, that if I hit the ball sweetly, but carried it 3 feet further than I was intending and the ball finished up 6 feet away from the pin, I was upset. This would have been my best shot of the session last week.

Certainly feels nice to be on the improve.

I just wanted to quickly pop in here and say I was so sick to death of having ‘streaky’ short game utterly ruin a good ball striking round, I was ready to try anything.

I read TM’s recipe and found it took me about an hour to put the various pieces into the actual chip, but eventually it started going exactly as he said… predictable ball flight.

I found if you’re going to go with weight left, and hands leading impact… well I found I had to drive a lot with the the right shoulder through the hitting zone to make sure the club angles were retained, or I still skulled the odd one in the forehead. That’s my nemesis, but it comes from nerves believe it or not. I’ll do lots of practice strokes, or even range sessions with perfect strikes. Then I hit the ball right in the forehead. It’s a terrible way to ruin a score.

I found your advice very helpful TM. After a short time, improvements were almost instantaneous, and holding the face open, but with a (very) slightly open stance seemed to help too. Now I’ll try to make it more natural. For now I’m working on how that advice ‘feels’ from different distances using chip net. Thanks.

Another question on this. Do you pick a spot on the green to land your chip, then aim for that shot, or do you feel the chip and focus more on getting the ball to the hole. I’m currently doing the latter, as I feel a little more tense when focusing on a spot closer to me. But I will battle through that feeling if picking a spot is a more accurate way to go long term.

sb, I don’t believe there is a right answer to your question. Some people are ‘spot’ chippers, who try to fly their pitch or chip to a certain blade of grass or mark and others just use feel and look at the flag then let the chip or pitch go. The perfect chip might land on the same spot but for the ‘feel’ golfer that was not their aim.

Personally I do both, sometimes I want to land the ball at a spot, other times I feel the shot and let go.

As ever, experiment yourself to see what works best for you.

Whatever works best sb. The hole is our true object so I think it should get more of our attention than a spot should
I have a general feel or idea where I want to land a chip- then I just try and let my feel for what club or loft to use and length and speed of the swing take over.
I would certainly not call my feel for where I want to land the chip as ‘spot’ chipping… just a guideline and a reference to help me choose what club/loft I think will work best to get to the main objective- the hole

I agree, I have never been a spot chipper either… a general idea… but not trying to hit a spot…
I will do that practicing… trying to fly the ball into a can… that sort of thing… but again, that is very destination target stuff.

Let me know if this is right. What you’ve said makes great sense, but I’m not sure of the lower body, and feel like it’s very important to a consistant strike. I saw my legs were pretty much static until close to impact, at which point, the back leg would move towards target, which felt OK. But I tried some things, moving front knee back during backswing was one. It wasn’t a good result, but I noticed my back knee moving back too, and started to keep that back leg solid. Sweetest contact yet.

Is this OK? The feeling is, you move your feet apart as much as you need based on how much backswing you need. Suck the front knee back towards back leg during backswing (which basically rotates hips). Now lock those knees together, and your hips, shoulders, hands, club face all rotate together back to the ball and through to the end of follow through. By impact your back knee has moved towards target like I originally mentioned, but backswing action seems to stabilise everything for me.

It feels very solid and consistant after a very short trial, so I guess I want to ask if this feeling will help chips, or whether I’m on the wrong track.

try hit a few chips like this.

Same setup as described earlier… I will post a pic also of Tiger in set up mode for reference with his sternum leaning forward ahead of the ball to promote the slight downward strike with an open stance for controlled ball trajectory and spin control. No shaft lean forward- Just a top half forward body lean which makes the lower half lean forward a little also- butt of the club facing the belly button. NO forward shaft lean like many people do by pressing their hands forward.
You will also see his held finish position. Firm with authority- minimal leg movement- torso just following the flight of the ball slightly with rotation into the finish
-Red line on the photo is his sternum leaning forward ahead of the ball at address unlike our normal shot where we set behind the ball
-Yellow line on the photo is butt of club in relation to belly button- address- and again matching up at the end of the stroke…proving there is still body rotation through the shot and keeping the hands from flicking

Add this little take to it and see what happens (your own inner feelings in the body movement)…same setup as stated…BUT…raise the right heel off the ground and keep it raised off the ground throughout the entire chipping stroke. Feel what you body does… that’s it. That’s the motion you are looking for- We can call this the Module 2 of chipping!!. It keeps the lower half still while the top half rotates!
Minimal leg movement…no big moves back or through…just club and body working together in a back and through motion. Just let the body shift naturally a little in either direction. It will move ever so slightly more and more as the length of the shot gets longer

Was able to get in two rounds this weekend and try this chipping technique. Had 5 “up and downs”, and could have been a few more with better putting. (missed several 4-6 footers)
Thanks Two!

Yes, I’ve still been working very hard on my chipping with these ideas, and it’s becoming almost 2nd nature now. I still need to work on my feel for lengths and to practice longer chips, but with 10 chips from a half decent lie, I’d be expecting to hit 8 or 9 solid clean chips right at the target, a lot more fun than skinnying and duffing your chips for sure.