What I learned at the range – 5

1. Chipping

I don’t hit a lot of greens. Nine would be a good day for me. That means I have to chip and putt in order to keep my score down.

The short game, BTW, doesn’t lower your score. It keeps it from going up. But that’s a different post.

So when I go to the range I always practice chipping and putting. I’ll take one chip, hit it about six times, then putt out each ball. Par is 14.

What I learned a few days ago, or rather finally realized for good, is that when you chip you should pick a landing spot and try to hit that, letting the ball run out as it will.

That style will give you much more control of where the ball goes.

Now the run-out is important. You can’t just let it happen.

For example, you have to know how much each of your chipping clubs will release. You also have to hit the stroke consistently to get the release you intend.

But the important point is where the ball lands. That is what governs all your other choices.

Thinking in that way will give your chipping a tremendous boost.

2. The Evil Seducer

If you follow this blog, you know that is what I call my driver. Because we want to hit the ball a long way, we alter our swing and end up hitting it shorter and in who knows which direction.

The driver is built to hit the ball a great distance. Stay out of its way and it will!

Here’s a great drill to convince you of that.

Take out your sand wedge and hit a 70-yard, or so, pitch. That should be an effortless shot with this club.

Now take out your driver and put the same swing on the ball. That you’re standing up a little straighter should be the only difference.

Different club, same swing.

Hit one drive and go back to the wedge. Keep alternating, one ball with each club.

After about three or four times through the cycle, I will bet (hope) that the wedge has rubbed off on you, and you are making an easy pass at the ball with your driver and the ball is going straight and long.

Well! Who knew?

If you can learn to swing your driver like this, you might not hit that once-a-month bomber, but you will be putting the ball in the fairway much more often, and with more than enough distance.

My new book, The Golfing Self, is now available at www.therecreationalgolfer.com. It will change everything about the way you play.

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