By: Fred Altvater
When anyone asks me the quickest method to lower their golf scores, I immediately answer,
“Improve your short game.”
This may seem like an old cliché’, but it is true.
The next time you go to a driving range count the number of players hitting wedges to a nearby target versus the macho men trying to hit their driver 300 yards.
“Chicks Dig the Long Ball, but Chipping Lowers your Scores.”
Another question often asked, “How can I reduce three putts?”
Once again, it is the same answer, “Learn to chip better.”
Amateur golfers are lucky to hit six greens in regulation over the course of an 18-hole round. That leaves 12 chances to get up and down to save par. If you are successful on only 50% of those opportunities, that will immediately reduce your total score by six shots.
Go back over your last round and count how many chips and putts it took you during the round. Then consider the possibility that improved chipping around the greens would have on your par-saves and three-putt avoidance.
The nice thing about improving your short game, anyone can do it. You don’t have to be a super athlete to improve shots under 100 yards, plus it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Most golf courses or practice facilities have a short game practice area and charge little or nothing to use them.
The act of chipping a golf ball is simply a small part of the overall golf swing. Believe it or not, chipping, will help to understand the dynamics of the proper clubface at impact and will help your full swings, as well.
The next time you set aside time for practice, don’t just reach for the Big Dog. Spend a minimum of 45 minutes per week practicing chipping and putting. It would be better if that amount of time were spent on each separately, but a minimum of 45 minutes every week will do wonders for your scores.
Plus, it will increase your enjoyment of the game, especially when you get up and down for the par you need to take a couple of bucks from your buddy.
Ten-Ball Drill to improve Chipping:
Simply grab 10 golf balls out of your bag and place them off the green. Chip all ten to a particular cup on the practice green.
Next, putt all ten into the hole and keep a record of how many you make.
For easier chips of 10-20 yards keep repeating the drill until you can make at least 7 out of 10 up and down every time. For longer or more difficult chips with more slope involved, reduce the acceptable rate to 50-60%.
The next time you are faced with a chip shot on the course, it will seem much easier, because you have already practiced it and will be more confident.