2018-02-16 / Community

Secret to chipping is all in the thenar


Fig. 1 The set-up. Fig. 1 The set-up. It’s a truism… those who love to chip, love the game. This article is for all golfers who have messed up a chip shot. Try this method for the rhythm-right chip.

The set-up: Stand tall and close to the ball with relaxed and extended arms. Set your thenar in front of the ball. (Your thenar eminence is the muscle group at the base of your thumb). Your club face has a direct relationship to your right palm’s thenar. Place the leading edge of your thenar about two to three inches in front of the ball. (See Fig. 1.) Aim your thenar and clubface with total target awareness.

The backswing: Keep the swing straight back and through to the target. Don’t move the club around your body or to the inside. Try to keep the club in front of your chest as you swing your chest and arm triangle.

The rhythm-right downswing: Swing-return the club shaft to the ball with the exact same lean and with your thenar the same distance in front of the ball. In order to accomplish this you must lead your thenar with your right knee. Your right knee will move to the blue line in the picture (See Fig. 2) a moment before your thenar passes the blue line and your club face will be last. If you synchronize your right knee to lead the way to the ball by the same micro-second on each shot you will have the secret to great chipping. The right knee is also the key to how far you hit the shot. The length of backswing is the second factor in your shot distance but how much you activate your right knee is the deciding factor on how far the chip will carry.

The key is to lead your right knee to the ball line just in front of the thenar which is just in front of the club head. After you develop this movement and understand how to do it easily, then with more power you need to perfect the correct contact with the ball and ground on your arc. True arc bottom is the ability to skim or pinch the ground every time, even under pressure. Maintain the same height of your body, the same length of your arms through impact and gravity will allow you to find your true arc bottom every time. Lead your thenar with your knee and you’ll love to chip.

Mike Dero is director of golf, Quail Creek Country Club. He can be reached at miked@swspotlight.com

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