Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Are You Aware Of Your Golf Swing Mechanics When Chipping Or Putting?

The hardest part about golf swing mechanics is learning to
finesse the golf ball around the greens. This is the least
amount of time spent in practicing the chipping, pitching,
putting and sand play before playing a round of golf.
For most amateurs we don't allow for enough time to
practice before hitting the golf links. As soon as we get
to the golf course we jump out of our cars, and go directly
into the pro shop to take care of business first. Then we
go get our golf clubs and shoes, and maybe get a few quick
practice putts in, along with swinging the driver, an
expect to be all warmed up.

What happens next, most of the time it becomes a rocky
picture horror show. With our expectations now reduced down
to trying how to figure out what to do next in order to
survive. For the majority of amateurs or weekend golfers
this happens a lot for the first few holes before we're
adequately warmed up.

The only way to combat high scores is being able to have an
adequate short game to make up for the mistakes being made
from tee to green. Most of the amateurs I play with hit the
ball well enough from tee to green, but when they get
within 50 yards of the green they seem to struggle. They'll
tell me, "I don't have time to practice these shots, I'm
not a pro, and they do have all the time in the world to
stand and work on these shots, so they do develop the
consistency in their feel."

The goal when chipping or pitching in golf is to get the
ball to travel the least amount of distance in the air and
have it roll along the green. The problem with most golfers
they'll anticipate their chip shots, and will have the
habit of looking up too soon to see where the ball is going.
One major problem with this is that golfers will forget
about their golf swing mechanics. What typically ends up
happening as a result is that by looking up, the leading
hand wrist bends, causing the golfers hands to flick
through the chip shot. The end result is that the club head
is picked up too steeply, and a blade type shot occurs
which sends the ball on more of a line drive trajectory.
The reason is that the wrists bend or break before contact
is made with the golf ball or ground in an attempt to
delicately place the ball onto the green. The solution is
to make sure your wrists don't break, especially the
leading wrist, and that your follow through continues just
like a normal golf shot.

Chipping in golf is supposed to softly carry the ball to
your target, as opposed to driving or iron-play which is
most often accompanied by full swings. Chips are supposed
to be approached with finesse to produce loft and the
finishing results by rolling the ball along the green once
it does make contact. Golfers will often try to slow down
their swing, and will end up instead making physical
mistakes which will have a negative impact on the outcome
of their chip shots. Instead try to keep your leading wrist
straight when chipping. This will ensure that you keep the
same basic swing as your normal golf swing, but it's toned
down a bit to produce a softer feel golf shot.

Once you've mastered the basics in playing around the
greens, you'll notice that your golf scores will drop
dramatically for every golf round your playing. From within
50 yards, you'll be playing 60% of your golf shots. 50%
around the greens. That's why practicing your short game is
even more important than going to a driving range, and
pounding golf balls after balls. The following are a few
golf tips that can help you to improve your green play.

1. Most beginners will aim a foot or two before the hole
and then get upset when they hit a perfectly struck ball
past the hole, and off the back end of the green. Yes
you've hit a great shot, but it didn't account for how
much the ball would roll once it did hit the green. Very
rarely do you ever have a straight level path to the hole.
Which means that slopes and undulations on the greens will
affect the roll of the ball. The quicker the ball is
rolling and conforming to those slopes and undulations, the
better the chances you'll have of sinking more chip shots.
The goal should be to hit the green about half way between
the edge of the front of the green and the hole. You could
even try to hit 1/3 of the way in from the front of the
green. Your aim will depend upon the golf club you choose.

2. When using a pitching wedge, the ball will travel in the
air about 60%-65% of the distance to the hole and roll
35%-40%.( The reason is obvious since a pitching wedge has
a higher degrees in loft.) When using a 7 or 8-iron to
chip, expect the ball to travel about 40% in the air and to
roll at least 60%. (These clubs have a steeper face and so
will set the ball on more of a line drive path.) Going even
lower, a 5 or 6-iron will travel about 20% in the air and
roll at least 80%. These clubs require more practicing,
because unlike the other golf clubs, there is no first
bouncing and then rolling. You should see a line drive that
hits the fairway 10-20 yards before the green, and then
starts rolling at the edge of the green. A golf club I
prefer using when just off the green by 10 to 20 yards,
with flat ground and no trouble in front, is the Texas
wedge. Your putter is the easiest club to control when
chipping, and you do feel that you have better than a 50%
chance of putting the golf ball in the hole or close to it
for a one putt.

3. When addressing the chip shot the majority of your
weight needs to be on your front foot. This is important to
help you not only too keep your body steady during the golf
swing, but to help you impart the downward blow that is
important in creating the backspin you want on any chip
shot. When descending make sure that your wrists are
slightly cocked. This is important as you need to cock the
wrist to help deliver a slightly downward blow through the
shot. Keep in mind during your back swing that your weight
doesn't shift to the back foot at any time, there should be
no movement with the lower body. You must keep your weight
on the front foot even at the top of your back swing, and
keep your body still. This will help eliminate any blading
or thinning of the chip shots.

4. It is important that the pace of the golf swing be
consistent throughout. It's no good swinging slowly through
one shot and quickly going through the next one. You'll get
very inconsistent results. Try to imagine a pendulum and
the way it moves backwards and forward at the same pace.
Try to feel this in all of your chip shots. Then it's
important to finish with a good follow through. Make sure
that the follow through is directly at the target and not
around your body. Don't stop your follow through on this
shot or you will constantly come up short, or looking up to
see where your golf ball is ending up on the green. This
will cause you to chili dip, or blade across the green.

5. For most golfers overconfidence and nervousness does
play a major factor in the psyche of a players game. After
hitting a well-placed golf shot most average golfers will
become overconfident and cocky in a way that harms their
performance for their next golf shot. When it comes to
nervousness golfers tend to value making birdie putts more
than they value shooting par. That is why most golfers
become very nervous and choke when there is an opportunity
around the greens to get up and down for a chance at
birdie. The game of golf is based upon performance,
persistency and consistency with regards to your golf swing
mechanics. In essence it's the golf mindset that dictates
how a golfer will respond to any given moment on the golf
course. With just a little practice to establish your
distances and pace, you will find playing these chip shots
becomes a lot more fun. You'll also get a lot of comments
from your playing partners like, "Where did you learn to
chip and putt all of a sudden?"
It's all about my favorite topic. Hitting that one
memorable shot that has a profound impact on your memory.
The one reason golfers come back to play again. It's like
in fishing catching the big one or the one that got away.
Author:Scott E. Kowalski

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