Use The Book Drill For Better Chips And Pitches
The Book DrillAs I said in a previous post, one observation I've made with a great number of golfers is that their tempo when pitching or chipping the ball is far too quick, especially from the start of the downswing to the ball.

Again, I suspect it's because all of us have heard, over and over, "accelerate through the shot".

While it's technically advisable, it can also be very misleading instruction.

It often promotes a rather quick jab of the wedge head at the ball, which produces inconsistent results and lots of wasted shots.

I'm a strong proponent of "pitch like you putt" - in other words, with a very fluid and rhythmical stroke of the club.

If your pitching and chipping swing becomes a fluid, smooth back and through motion, with a slight pause at the end of the backstroke, you'll create a tempo and rhythm that'll give you much more consistency on ball flight and distance control.

To learn to feel this, I devised " The Book Drill ".

Get a small, but thick book (like a Bible) and hold it as shown in the photo. You want to feel like it's just cradled in your hands, but that they are not really " holding" it.

A light grip on the club is crucial to developing good pitching technique, so practice it here.

Now, simply visualize a pitch or chip of only a few yards. take the book back into about a half backswing ... let it stop completely ... then just feel like you're letting your arms and hands fall back through the impact zone, pulling the book with them.

If you don't move your body much, you'll find that your motion stops just after impact. But if you allow your left hip to rotate out of the way a little, you'll find that your arms will cause a "release" of your upper body and hips, so that the arms can swing a couple of feet past "the ball".

As you repeat this drill,you want to feel the arms and hands - primarily the left arm and hand - "pulling" the book all the way through the impact zone.

Also, you want to keep the book level through the bottom of the swing, "mirroring" the starting position. In other words, use minimal hinging or breaking of the wrists.

Perform this drill using various backswing lengths, as if you were facing chip and pitch shots of different distances. but always feel like "gravity" is driving your forward swing through impact.

Your learning goal is to take the hands and arms to the desired backswing position ... feeling the end of the backswing and a definite pause ... then allow the hands and arms to just fall through the impact zone, pulling the book with them.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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