Bladed it, smiled it, chili dipper, chunk city, worm burner, gopher killer... if any of these describe your short game, then it's time to turn your ears on because this weeks' episode is here to help you get your short game under control!
What you'll learn in today's episode
- The importance of quiet hands around the green
- How to develop a consistent touch from Hail Irwin
- Brandan Stooksbury's method of building a solid foundation for your short game
- Golf Strategy Academy
- Chipping/Pitching jail drill
- Hale Irwin's touch drill (sorry the audio is so bad!)
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No time to listen? Here's the transcript so you can Ctrl + f to where you need to be!
Hey there, Golf Strategy School, Marty back with you here again and this episode's question comes from Chase. Chase is asking, his question reads, " Hey Marty, I was really burning a lot of strokes around the greens. Seems like I don't have a consistent low point in my chipping. Some are fat, some are thin, but really perfect. Any thoughts?" Well Chase, situations like this where you have inconsistent, I guess I'll say low point, it usually results from... At least with chipping, the fact that you're getting overly handsy in the actual action.
So a lot of people especially beginners or newer folks, they'll get into this mindset that the fingertips and the hands have all the feel, so that should be what's controlling all of the force that goes into the shot as well as kind of cutting out those bigger muscles. I see all the time where people just take their wrist and I kind of see them just chop right at the ball, and those ones are even less consistent then kind of what you're describing. At least you're getting a couple that do end up going on target, maybe not just on target but actually correct distance wise.
So the way we can kinda get around this, it's a really easy setup. If you have some water bottles this is a really easy thing to do. If you're on the course or if you are at your practice facility, heck, honestly you can do this at home. So you take two water bottles if you're at home they could be empty, and they should be empty. If you're on course then depending on how much when do you have, if you feel your empty water bottles are going to blow away, maybe put some water in them. But what you're going to do is you're going to take-two water bottles and you're going to set them up so one water bottle is about a foot behind the ball, the other water bottle is about a foot in front of the ball. So the idea is that these water bottles are going in the same direction as your feet, so actually perpendicular to your target line, but the idea here is that if you're flipping your club into that impact zone, you're not going to be able to consistently make your shot and not hit either one of those water bottles.
Again with that kind of two foot window, I forget where I heard it from but someone referred to this as "chipping jail." I thought that was kind of cool, but that's essentially what you're putting yourself in, is your setting these defined parameters from where you can actually hit the ball, and you're going to get this very real physical feedback if you don't correctly accommodate those restraints. So again you're flipping into the ball which means that we got a quiet down those hands.
I actually highly encourage you to go back and listen to Brandon Stooksbury's episode, and in that episode he talks about his book dealing with short game solutions, and Brandon's kind of a short game expert, and the idea is we want to remove as many variables as possible just like we want to do with everything. The less variable easier the solution becomes. So with shipping specifically if you're really getting wristy with it, that means that not just your arms and shoulders are moving, your wrist, what Brandon call them, "another hinge" and you want to remove as many of these hinges as possible because that allows you to be more consistent, the solution, in your chip shots. So like I said you can do this at home with probably a whiffle ball, I don't know if you would want to test the strength of your drywall or anything like that. But you just set down parameters, like I said about a foot in front and a foot behind.
If you're really, really struggling keep in mind our kind of butter zone for a practice success rate is between 30% and 70%. So if you have that foot behind the ball and foot in front of the ball and you still can't do it at least 30% of the time then you might want to consider 18 inches in front and behind, or some variation of that to make it a little easier on yourself. Because you need to experience success in order to actually improve and not just get discouraged at yourself. So, again 30% - 70% is that optimal zone.
Maybe this is an easy thing for you to do, okay I'm flipping my hands too much, I just need to rock my shoulders more. Well, then two feet might be too much room and you're able to do it every single time, well in that circumstance maybe pin it in 3 inches on each side. So then you're only dealing with an 18 inch span. You don't want to get it too small though because and you're really kind of chopping down at the ball, and that's going to take you and a negative direction in terms of your progress. But again your inconsistency at the bottom of that chip shot, it's a really small motion, we don't need a lot of hinges and things to add power, you're only moving the ball maybe 20, you mention green side. So even if your 10-20 yards off at the most you can still get away with it. The idea is that you want to get the ball on the ground as soon as possible because that removes variables. The longer the ball flies the more of a variables you have in that shot. Again Brandon talks about this in detail in his episode.
Also, check out the coaching replays on the membership site one of them is with Brandon and it deals with exactly with this topic, so that's about an hour discussion there. Feel free to check that out in the Golf Strategy Academy member site. That will definitely, definitely help you out.
The other thing that I might think help you a little bit is kind of learning a little touch around the greens. A lot of people, they run into the situation where one bad shot especially, not like a chunk, chip but when you kind of stuff it into thick grass, if the ball's sitting down and it's really hard to get out. I guess we can call it a chunk. So if you are in that situation or you've maybe had that one chunk shot, and now you feel like everything has to have all the this extra power just to get through it, remind yourself that this is one fluid motion. I saw this as a demo by Hale Irwin and to me it was just profoundly awesome. What he did, and I'll see if I can find the actual video (linked above), what he did if he's talking about chipping touch, specifically green side chipping touch like you are Chase, and he said, " Just take a ball, you stand you take your address like you're going to hit a shot and instead of swinging your club take a ball throw it at the cup." Try to "hit that shot", but you do it by throwing that ball. The idea here is that your hands with the club should move at that same pace. So you know maybe it takes you two or three balls to figure out what a good touch is in terms of tossing the ball, but that's an awesome way to kind of give yourself this different type of physical feedback, to maybe get your brain to grasp onto it a little bit better. And again just take that address throw the ball the cup and pay attention to how your hands are moving because that's all the after that they need to move during the chip shot as well.
So I hope that helps you out Chase, absolutely let me know how it works in the membership Facebook group. Also if any of you are interested in joining the golf strategy Academy you can do so, you can hear more about it at golfstrategyschool.com/membership-info and there you can hear my little video in terms of what academy all entails, but we've got like 30 days, more than 30 days worth of practice routines up on the website. I've got a specific order for you to follow, that will actually improve your game. This isn't swing tips this is how to practice to actually get better. So I'm giving you custom, focused, practice routines to do this. And one of the things I'm tacking on for new members, if you join at the annual subscription not only do you get two months free but I'll also toss in a free coaching call. So, until next time everybody thank you so much for listening, don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review podcast. If you want more info on the membership you can check it out again at golfstrategyschool.com/membership-info otherwise I'll catch y'all in the short grass. Cheers.