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Original Issue

Essentials of the chip

Too many players try to push or scoop the ball to the green on their chip shots. A good chip is a much freer stroke. It begins with the application of certain fundamentals we all know—the blade kept square to the line, the clubhead never picked up. But the essence of it is the stroke. You can never become a consistent chipper unless you first develop a sound, efficient stroke which you can play without being conscious of hitting the ball. On impact, the left arm and hand should be in charge. The right joins in the stroke, but it shouldn't dominate it, the way it does in the chip shots of poor golfers. With them the right hand pushes the left arm and hand out of the way, which brings on inaccuracy and lack of touch. It is quite the reverse when the left hand is in control. Then, regardless of the club you use, you can count on uniformity. The shot is always on line. There is no conscious collision of ball and clubhead at impact.

Since most golfers don't possess the muscular coordination to become scratch players, and since every golfer wants to score as low as possible, at every club there is a handful of players who have concentrated with success on developing a fine short game, that department of golf which saves so many strokes and yet requires less muscular talent than full shots. These players have developed touch. Most golfers can do the same with intelligent practice. I particularly recommend sessions where the player begins chipping at the apron of a green and then gradually moves back, 10 yards at a time, using the same stroke for each shot, merely lengthening the swing as the distance requires.

LOU MYERS, Ledgemont CC, Seekonk, Mass.



The left arm and hand are in control going back and on the forward stroke

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