There may be no more demoralizing shot in all of golf than the easy short chip shot that you flub. Too often you seen golfers catch one "right in the eyebrows" and send it across the green like a cruise missile, or stick the club in the dirt and move the ball only a foot or so ... if at all. Those are caused by nothing more complex than a "yip", and I've had 'em to a point of nearly wanting to give up the game.
The good news is that they can be beaten into submission, or maybe remission is a better word. The point is that you can drill and grind your way out of the chipping yips and put the fun back into your greenside game.
What causes these is nothing more complex than mental insecurity over the shot. If you find yourself recalling bad thoughts instead of good ones, you are setting yourself up for failure. So the only way to replace those is to regroup and fill your mind with success images. And that's going to take some practice.
Here's where I'll depart from conventional wisdom on how and where to practice your chipping. If you are just fine-tuning a solid chipping technique, by all means, spend hours around the chipping green. But if you are working your way out of the chipping 'yips', then get as far away from anything resembling a target as possible. Go to the back of the driving range with a bag of balls and practice there.
Work on your raw basics – posture, ball position, grip pressure and rhythm and tempo. Get granular with every element of a good chip shot, and hit them over and over and over and over and over ... focusing only on your technique and contact with the ball. And S-L-O-W D-O-W-N. Most chip yips are the result of quickness. This is a short delicate shot that needs to be executed more like a putting stroke than a pitch shot. Lose that notion of "accelerate through the ball" and think of that pendulum in a grandfather clock.
And leave any thoughts of a target completely out of the picture. You have fear of contact, so you need to get over it. Only when you've done that can you return to thoughts of target, ball flight and the other nuances of executing an effective chip shot.
Don't shortcut the time you spend. When you get where you are making solid contact, hit hundreds more chip shots to ingrain that confidence and technique. Then, and only then, should you take that confidence to the chipping green and put the target in the picture.
I hope this article isn't written for too many of you. But of those who suffer from the "chip yips", I hear ya. I feel your pain. And I hope that this helps you on the road to recovery.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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Thanx wedge guy.
I have spent my winter 3X a week in indoor golf.I have really been concentrating on the short game.
The 2 pros have told me you got it go out and do it.
I am in florida right now on a 2 week holiday.I have played golf 3X and the short game has been "not good". I need to get my confidence as i believe when i practice the shot I know I am doing well but when I approach the ball all goes to smoke????
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I have also played a match and my challenger played off a 3 handicap. All was going good for early few holes until about the 4th when chip was flubbed and left it a foot from the place he hit it. He then have the most horrifying show of chipping yips I’ve ever notice. Please visit Outsource Bookkeeping to India.
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