A Chipping Story
I got quite a few responses to my email about letting the left arm bend – thanks, I always (usually) enjoy your responses.
One of the respondents said that next year is his year to break 80… I responded with “Work on your chipping”. That’s really the secret to scoring. I’ll take the good chipper over the long driver any day.
About 15 years ago, one of our Mens League members was really down on his luck. His wife had left him and he’d just been fired. He came to me and said that all he had left was golf and that he wanted to shoot in the 70s – he was a mid-80s player. He was about 50 and had gotten a pretty good severance package – so he said he’d take as many golf lessons as he needed.
Well, that first lesson was tough. He’d played a lot of golf for 35 years and had refined an exceptionally messed-up technique for a hitting a golf ball. So I told him that he could spend a lot of money on golf lessons … and that I couldn’t promise he’d break 80. But, if we were to focus on chipping, he would break 80 by Labor Day (this was in May).
The plan was that he would chip on the practice green behind our clubhouse for 1/2 an hour three nights a week. Well, he went crazy and practiced for 1 1/2 hours at a time at least five nights a week. You can’t believe how good he got at chipping.
Did it help his score? That same Summer – in a serious Mens League event – he shot a 1 under par 70. He hit zero greens in regulation. He got it up and down every hole except for the hole he chipped-in on.
The chipping also improved his ball striking – he had more feel and control of the golf club. Did his golf swing improve? No – it was still brutal.
We all want a good golf swing. I’m all for working on and improving your golf swing. But, if you really want to shoot lower scores … work on your chipping!
GM and Head Golf Professional