Get a Grip on Your Chips
By Erika Larkin on 8/7/13
For better greenside chip shots take a hard look at your setup, in particular your GRIP. I've seen many amateurs with a strong grip position hit great shots for full swing, but around the green they end up scooping, chunking or blading their chip shots because the same grip position backfires. Using a strong grip is difficult to keep the left wrist flat (which is a key component to solid chips).
At setup, (see picture #1) a strong grip, one where your lead hand is rotated away over hinges the wrist and promotes a scooping/flipping action through impact which undesirable (see pic #2).
Picture 1 Picture 2
NOTE: if your grip is strong and you try to force a flatter lead wrist it usually leads to a closed clubface position which will lower your ball flight and pull it off line/cause fat shots.
Using a weaker grip position (see picture 3), one where your lead hand is turned more toward the target helps promote the flatter left wrist from start to finish (see picture 4).
Picture 3 Picture 4
Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community, at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine — and she's oobgolf's newest columnist! She writes on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, e-mail her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!
[ comments ]
If you have a "natural" strong grip, weakening your grip will prevent you from bringing the club back to your setup position and cause your chips to go offline. I have a strong grip, but it is due to the natural rotation of my hands, not a concious change.
joe jones says:
I have always played with a strong grip and considered myself to be a good chipper but lately I have gone to a more neutral grip on all of my shots and it seems to help every club in the bag. Time will tell whether it is a temporary fix or if I continue to use the method.
I do not like her articles. This one especially as her after photos are obvious manipulations leading to her self fulfilling prophecy. I disagree with the strong grip on chips. Obviously not overly strong but a normal strong grip is fine.
She is the only one who always posts golf tips in a golf forum. Her articles are fine and helpful. There may occasionally be tips that aren't helpful for your specific game, but at least she isnt constantly saying how bad everyone is who doesnt play with her wedges.
No need to negatively attack someone who is just trying to help. If you have a strong grip, and you chip well, why would you even read this article in the first place. She is clearly just trying offer advice for those who are struggling with a certain facet of the game and giving an idea that may work. Not bad for free.
joe jones says:
She is far from the only one who preaches a neutral grip for chipping. Look up chipping videos on youtube and you will find many other instructors who include that method. She also teaches concentrating on the front of the ball. I always used the back of the ball but after I tried her suggestion I found it works for me.I totally agree with jasonfish. Different strokes for different folks.
I apologize if my comment came off as negative. I was simply trying to point out that this tip will not work for everyone.
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