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Lesson 4 - Chipping (10-week golf improvement mission)

Lesson 4 – Chipping (10-week golf improvement mission)

Scott Oxley from J Whitaker Golf in Leeds is helping James Savage slash his handicap in just 10 weeks. Lesson four is a bit of fun on the course.
 

The mornings are getting darker, colder and wetter but that didn’t stop me and Scott Oxley from J Whitaker Golf from getting out on to the course at Moor Allerton to work on short game in last week’s lesson.

It was a lesson I had been really looking forward to as chipping can sometimes be one of my strengths but has the tendency to also be a massive weakness.

To be at a stage where those duffed chips from around the green are eradicated from my game is where I want to be sooner rather than later.

One of my problems had been taking away too much turf. This probably came from a bit of confusion on my part due to a number of instruction videos I had filmed and edited previously.

In order to make clean contact with the ball, I had been putting the ball quite far back in my stance. But without really realising, I had been closing the club face slightly and coming in at a steep angle.
I’m going to make a concerted effort to practice chipping more often as it can get you out of trouble when a little wayward in other areas” A few pointers from Scott like moving the ball a bit more central and introducing the bounce of the club with more of a skidding motion had instant results.

What was also interesting from Scott was the idea of not focussing too much on technique when out on the course – save that for your practice.

Focus on what you are faced with on the course, how your ball is lying, where are you going to land it, how will the green manipulate the ball.

Club selection is also an area where it’s easy to make mistakes. Again this is dependant on what you are faced with. You can’t assume that a 30-yard chip will always result in playing the same shot.

Chipping is an area which, for me, often gets neglected in practice. When I go to the range I just want to hit driver as that is what I’m most concerned about getting right. It’s still the area which I feel is potentially costing me the most shots.

But the odd poor drive is something I need to get over. It’s going to happen and I can’t be fearful of it. There’s really no excuse for fritting away shots through a sloppy short game.

I’m going to make a concerted effort to practice chipping more often as it can get you out of trouble when a little wayward in other areas.

So on to lesson four. It was time to have a bit of fun and put into play the things Scott had taught me so far.

Click on the video to see if I’ve come far enough to win some money off my coach…

James Savage

Former equipment editor of NCG. Inconsistent ball-striker and tea-maker.

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