Golf Pitching & Chipping Drill 108. Technique: Flow


The Flow pitching & chipping drill will help you to learn and maintain one of the key fundamentals of a great pitching & chipping & chipping stroke – shifting your weight properly throughout the swing.

This simple drill will quickly help to improve the sequencing and timing of your short game swing, enabling you to strike the ball much more effectively and consistently, getting the golf ball up and down reliably when you miss the green.


There’s the Wrong Way…

Balance and weight shift in the pitching & chipping stroke are amongst the most important, and yet the most misunderstood, elements of a great short game.  This misunderstanding is the cause of most poor shots played by amateurs around the greens, mainly because they’ve been mistaught these things for many years, and continue to be so every day in golf magazines, videos and websites.

The accepted wisdom is that you should set up with your weight leaning towards the target.  The aim here is to prevent you from setting up behind the ball, as you do in the full swing, or from moving back behind the ball during the backswing, as so many amateurs do, both of which are recipes for disaster with these delicate finesse shots – you just don’t have time to get back to the ball properly with such a short swing.

Unfortunately, this “wisdom” is biomechanically incorrect, and it’s certainly not what the best short game players in the world do.

There are several serious problems with this advice:

When most amateurs shift their weight towards the target at address, they automatically tilt their pelvis and spine away from the target in order to feel balanced.  This will drop the low point of their swing backwards, behind the ball.  The result is inconsistency and mishits – either catching the ball on the upstroke and thinning (“skulling”) it across the green, or striking the ground before the ball for a fat “chunk” shot, or “chilli dip”.

Even if they manage to set up more vertically, this forward weight shift at address will likely cause the golfer to drop their upper body back during the swing in order to keep their balance, and encourage them to drive with their hips in the downswing in order to get back to the ball.  The result, once again, is inconsistent ball striking – chunks and skulls all day long.

Either way, the golfer’s sequence is disrupted.  They will lead the club with their hands, and they are likely to stall their chest through impact, “flipping” the club in an attempt to get the club back in front of them and keep the club head going.  The club will exit right, leading to a possible double-hit, and it will probably decelerate through impact.  No touch, no consistency, no control – this is getting ugly!


And Then There’s the Right Way!

Poor short game players drop back, away from the target, during the pitching & chipping stroke.  All great players move forwards, towards the target, throughout the swing!

In order to be sure of consistently striking the ball beautifully, catching the ball before the turf and then launching it high and soft, with a controlled flight onto the green, you must keep the low point of your swing forwards, after the ball, and you must use the bounce and loft of the club in the way that they were designed…

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…This drill will quickly help you to feel the correct body movement in the pitching & chipping stroke, providing great feedback that will ensure that you maintain great fundamentals.  Your ball striking, consistency and touch around the greens will improve rapidly.

This is a great drill to include at the start of every short game practice session.  The aim of the drills in the Pitch & Chip like a Champion series is to practise smart, so that you quickly get to that “natural”, non-mechanical, stage, where the correct movement just feels right.  You can then forget about internal factors and just play shots with imagination, with finesse.

For more information on the kinematic sequence for the pitching and chipping stroke, see Golf Swing Sequence and Timing – Pitching & Chipping.

This drill forms part of the Golf Loopy Pitch & Chip like a Champion series, the sensational new pitching and chipping game improvement system that will help you to improve every aspect of your performance around the greens.  The improvements will be dramatic, and they will be permanent.


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