When it comes to chip shots, it seems that practically every golfer has an inborn fear he won't give the ball enough loft. He wants to see that ball travel in a high arc, so he sets his weight back on the right leg and makes a jerky swing with his hands back of the club head at the moment of impact. The result is that he not only opens the club face too much but he also pulls his body upward in his convulsive scooping motion. Instead of lifting the ball in a crisp arc, he is lucky if he doesn't hit way behind it or skull it over the green.
To correct these faults, first make sure your left wrist is straight and on a line with the shaft. Then, when you swing, the key thing to remember is the hands, not the wrists. The backswing uses both hands evenly, with a certain amount of play in the wrists. So does the downswing. The hands lead the club head slightly. At impact you should feel yourself striking down and through the ball. This action may at first give you the sensation that you are closing the club head, but actually you are just giving yourself a chance to follow through in a straight line that follows the course of the ball. The loft of the club head will supply all the loft you need.
JOHNNY REVOLTA, pro at Gulf Hills Golf Club
correct position at address, hands in front of the ball
incorrect position for playing a chip shot
club head follows through straight line to the target
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: JOE NOVAK ON THE ANGLE OF THE SHAFT