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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Golf Tip of the Week: The Slide Chip

Short Game Golf Tips - Chipping Tips, Practice Tips

Today's message starts your series of drills covering the area of chipping and pitching and focuses on a technique called the Under Reach Technique which was invented by short game expert Paul Runyan. I had never heard of this before and asked a pro at my local course whether he knew of it. He said that it is a drill that he uses all the time to help higher handicappers get some consistency in their chipping. So I asked him to show me how it worked. It only cost me a couple of beers, well maybe four or five. It really is a simple and effective way of stopping you duff those short little chip shots which most of us either hit fat or thin.
This drill is entitled......
The Under Reach Technique by Paul Runyon

Regardless of ability , we all have good days and bad days when it comes to hitting greens in regulation. On the bad days, it's important that you have the method and means to get up and down with some regularity; otherwise, your scores will be much higher than you'd like.
A Pro I asked about the drill said:

This is where a strong mental thought should be used. In getting up and down, the getting up part is the most important. If you can chip the ball ON THE GREEN and relatively close, you won't have to worry about making those tough 20 to 30 footers. Unfortunately, most high handicap players short games aren't up to snuff (well mine certainly wasn't). If there's one mistake that I made on a regular basis that caused me and my overall score the most damage, it was hitting the chip fat and not even Getting Up. I've learned this great technique to ensure that you never hit a short shot short again (well most of the time), and you can use it too.

This method is a method which was used by short-game master Paul Runyan, he called this technique "under-reaching the ball." It's quite interesting and easy to apply in the short game.

The biggest problem amateur golfers like me and you have when it comes to the short game is chunked shots. To help prevent fat chips, try the under-reach technique. Begin by assuming your address position, with your arms hanging to their natural length. Choke down on the club about an inch (i go even shorter, about two inches), and hover the club just off the ground as you get ready to execute the shot. The combination of choking the grip and hovering the club will help you guard against hitting the shot fat. When you finally make a swing, simply concentrate on contacting the bottom half of the ball.

How to set up for the Under Reach

Start with the posture. With the ball positioned in the middle of your stance, assume your normal setup and allow your arms to fall downward in front of you as far as they can. Allow gravity to stretch them fully. Then, take your standard grip on the club. As you grip the club, allow the sole to rest gently on the ground. Now, grip down on the club approximately one inch. If you choke down appropriately, the clubhead should hover just above the grass. (Try this out on the carpet at home, it will give you the right visual of how the club will hover off of the ground)This is the under-reach to which Paul Runyan referred. With the club just above ground level, the leading edge of the club is now located at the bottom of the golf ball.

Note: The longer the grass from which you're playing, the more effective this technique becomes. In long grass, the ball will often sit up, making it easy to slide the clubhead underneath the ball. By hovering the club, you'll ensure crisper, squarer contact.

Why does it Work?

For you to get the ball up in the air, the leading edge of the club must pass under the equator (the middle of the ball). In this new address position, the leading edge of the club is well below the middle of the ball, making a square strike easier to attain. The only way to hit the shot fat is by changing your posture as you swing the club. If you remain in the same posture you established at address and maintain your spine angle, you'll strike the ball squarely every time and Not Leave it Short.

The only thing that might cause you a problem with this technique is keeping your posture. A good way to ensure that you keep your posture intact is to keep your chin up and stand tall as you execute your swing. This will also better allow your arms to swing freely and stretch out through the shot, so the club can reach the bottom of the golf ball.

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