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3 Big Chipping Mistakes Amateur Golfers Make

Feb 27, 2020


, Todd Kolb, PGA Professional Instructor, Director of Instruction for USGolfTV and Todd Kolb Golf Academy; and today we are talking about one of the things that I am very passionate about, and that is


. Raise and lower the ball. And why am I passionate about that? Because, unfortunately, a lot of the information you've been given could be wrong. Let's talk about it. The 3 most common things people tell you about improving your


are just plain wrong. And we're going to talk about that, but more importantly, we're going to show you and help you understand what you need to do to get that ball up and down.
3 big chipping mistakes amateur golfers make
So let's get into that. First off, three chipping bugs: Three things if you're having trouble with your chipping, I guarantee you've been told; or you read about it in a magazine or saw it on TV, or maybe even a local golf pro or someone told you. Number one, handle in front, right? We've all heard that. If you've played any golf, one of the first things you're told when it comes to chipping is to move the shaft, tilt the shaft forward. I'm going to tell you why that's absolutely wrong and why it's probably killing your chip. Number two: move the ball back, right?
3 big chipping mistakes amateur golfers make

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3 big chipping mistakes amateur golfers make...

That's the second thing they always tell someone when they're new to the game. Move the ball back in your stance; once again, it's just not right, unless you're trying to hit a special shot, which we'll talk about in a bit. Number three is, what do they tell you to do? Hit the ball. They really want you to hit the ball down, like you're going to dunk that stick and push that ball into the ground. We're going to talk about how there's a grain of truth to hitting the ball; but not to the point where we're just trying to drive the damn thing in there.
3 big chipping mistakes amateur golfers make
So if these are three things you may have heard about your chipping, if you're having problems with your chipping, then the rest of this video is for you, because we're going to answer some questions, we're going to uncover some secrets. , and more importantly, we're going to get you to hit better chip shots around the green. So let's go ahead and get into it. So I'm going to delete this word, Errors, because we're going to be done with that; We will not


any more


. Let's get back on track. So the first thing we're going to talk about is what I call "Effective Loft and Bounce", okay?
3 big chipping mistakes amateur golfers make
Effective loft and effective bounce. Now I'm sure you've heard of the word Loft, you know what it is. Each golf club has a loft. The one I have here today is 58 degrees lofted. But there is also rebound; there is bounce on the golf club. Now what is rebound? Well, the bounce is the curve that you see at the bottom of the club here. Now, without going too deep into golf club design, you should first know what rebound is and why it's probably the best invention in wedges. So rebound is the curve at the bottom. If I put this on a flat surface you will see the leading edge come off the ground.
Some clubs have more curve, more bounce, than other clubs. But here's what you need to know: rebounding is your friend. The rebound is good. It


s the shot easier because it allows the club to do exactly what the word says: bounce. Allows the club to bounce on the grass. So the first thing is when we hit good chip shots, we need to have effective loft and effective rebound. Alright, do you remember the first suggestion that the bug we cleared, we're going to clear those bugs? Do you remember the first one? Move the handle forward, right? So let's think about this.
I have a chance; I grabbed my 58 degree wedge. So I'm assuming I want 58 degrees of loft when I hit the golf shot. Because if I wanted 45 degrees of loft, I have a club that has that. It's called a pitching wedge. If I wanted 30 degrees of loft at impact, I have a club for that. It just has a different number on it. So the first thing is effective loft. So when you hit the shot, you want to deliver the loft in the golf club to the ball it's designed for. And the only way to do that is to deliver it at what we would call a neutral axis angle.
If I deliver this angle of the shaft, I will have dislofted the golf club. And most people know it. You're probably thinking, "Todd, I already knew that." But here's what you probably didn't know. When you tilt the axle forward, this is important, get this, when you tilt the axle forward, you nullify all the rebound. The leading edge moves down. Now, can you make good shots from that position? Yes, you can, but you'd better practice a lot. Because when you deny the rebound, remember, the rebound is one of the best things you have going for you, when you take it away, you decrease your margin of error, because the club is not going to bounce across the turf. .
So, that's the first thing I want you to know, is that when you tilt the shaft forward, you do lose loft, which doesn't make any sense on its own in the first place, because if you wanted less loft, just grab a stick with less loft. But most importantly, you lose all the rebound. Let's hope that makes sense. If it doesn't make sense, let me know. Put a comment below, ask a question, because I want you to answer it. If you can do this, you're going to chip better. Okay, you're going to chip better. And like I said before, leave me a comment below if you need it.
Alright, the second thing is we tell people to move the ball back into position. So let's talk about what that is. That is the position of the ball. Now, where should the ball position be when we chip shots? Now I'm not going to dive into all the setup details, because that's another video. But basically I like the feet very close together, I like a little bit of forward pressure. Personally, I like the ball more or less in the center of the stance, maybe a little back. But I'll never tell anyone, unless it's a one-off situation, which I'll talk about in a second, so wait, but in a normal situation with a normal lie, I want the ball in the middle. for maybe a little backwards.
Why would that be? Think about it. Remember our first thing here, the most important thing is effective loft and rebound. That's it with chipping. So when you move the ball back into your position, when I move that ball back, let's say the ball is here in the middle. When I move that ball backwards, 99 out of 100 people keep the axis forward. So they've moved the ball back, but leave the axis forward. Now they have taken the loft out of the golf club and have lost all the bounce. So, it's not so much that the position of the ball moving back is bad; is that when they have moved the ball back, they leave the handle forward.
They now have a forward axle lean, which is the #1 killer when it comes to chipping. Makes sense? Let's hope so, because if not, be sure to comment below or ask a question. Or maybe you don't agree with that. Okay, let me hear your reason, and maybe you can teach me something too. So the ball stance, you put the ball basically in the center of the stance, maybe a little bit forward. All right, number 3: I'm going to call this the motion. Now what do they tell you? You have to hit the ball, hit the ball. I mean, they've been saying that for a long time, and it's just not right.
Does the club move in a downward motion at impact? If it does. I don't think there are very few people who don't agree with that. The club has a descent, although that is the word, it is a descent, it is not a descent. When people tell you to hit the golf ball, what happens? They take the stick and literally stick it into the ground. Think in terms of a downward stroke versus a "down" stroke. And I think what will happen is that the club will continue to go down, okay? But it will pass more through. So it's down and down, not just down.
That, I hope that makes sense, okay? Because I know we're playing with words a bit, but it's important. As a coach, when you give someone a word, that imparts, that imparts a feeling to them when they're playing golf. And the word "down" for most people literally means "down and stop," not "down and through." So I like the word "down" versus down stroke. Hopefully that will help a bit. Makes sense? Like I said before, I hope this makes some sense to you, because the number one key to effective loft and effective bounce. So let me give you, I want to give you some advice, okay, some advice right here.
I'm just going to call this out: This is the one piece of advice I give almost everyone when it comes to chipping. And this is going to eliminate almost all of this. This is the only tip to cover most of our bases, okay? And that is what I call the movement of the butt of the club. So what does that mean? Are you thinking what the hell is he talking about? Okay, first of all, you have the head of the club, right? This is the back end of the club, right here. This is what we are talking about.
The movement of the butt end, right here, is the key to hitting good chip shots. We are always focused on this part, but what you do initially with this part of the club will determine everything. So this is what I want you to do. When the club moves away from the golf ball, the initial swing, of course, the clubhead will move away from the target, right? I want the butt of the club to move a bit away from the target as well. This is what most


do: they push this part away and move the top part forward.
So, the butt end is directed towards the target, the head is turned away from the target. They make this move. So what does that look like? That seems like the first mistake, doesn't it? It seems that the front axle leans! And when we have forward axis tilt, we don't have loft, we don't have bounce, we have the ball back, we're stabbing it. No wonder you're breaking it every time you chip! It doesn't make any sense at all. So what I want you to do is when you move the stick, you move the handle. I shouldn't use a handle, I use the butt end of the stick, it's kind of a technical term, but it might help you remember. better, I don't know, but the shaft… moves the shaft in the same direction as the clubhead as it moves away from the ball.
Now, I know there will be some of you out there, okay, and that's okay, that's what I love about golf, there are always differences of opinion and thinking, and that's what makes it the best game, and you You could disagree with everything I've said and that's fine. I want to hear your point of view, let's talk about it. Let's break it down a bit. I am not saying that the butt of the club, the shaft and the head of the club all move the same. We all know that's not true. All I'm saying is this: In the initial movement away from the ball, if you can move the shaft and head in the same direction, you'll maintain effective loft and bounce, and you're guaranteed to hit better chip shots.
So let's turn around here, let's turn around. And hopefully, as I said before, you have some feedback and ideas on this, or we have a bunch of information on the chip. If you like what you've heard here, be sure to follow us on our social media. On our YouTube, you can follow me on Instagram, you can follow us on Twitter. We are all over the place and we have good information that can help you play better golf. So here's the thing: At the end of the day, they'll probably tell you if you're having trouble with your chipping to move the shaft forward, tilt it forward, move the ball back, and hit the ball down.
Those are all things that are negating, removing loft, and removing bounce. What you want to do is get effective loft and bounce by simply getting the ball pretty centered, well, getting the shaft pretty neutral to start with, and then that early key. As you begin the swing, move the butt end of the club away from the target. And when you do that, you're going to hit the ball down, but it's going to be a downward hit through the ball. And when you do those couple concepts, that will definitely help you improve. Alright, so I hope you liked what you heard here.
We have covered a lot of ground. If you want more or want to follow more about what we're doing, be sure to follow us on our YouTube channel, you can follow me on Instagram, we have our Twitter account, we're everywhere. Or you can also visit our website at That is our base of operations. That's where we have all kinds of information. Videos, written content, you name it, it's there to help you play better golf. And that's why we're here, that's our mission. That's our passion, we just want to help you play better golf.

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