Hope you are you are having a good week. Thank you again for your invaluable responses to my surveys. The results from the one last week show that many of you want to learn more about chipping, pitching and the pre-shot routine. Fortunately, over the summer I have been working on 2 different projects that comprehensively address both of these subjects. In the coming weeks I will be sharing more about these projects, but for this week I will discuss about the subject of controlling the distance of your chip shots. To consistently hit your chips the right distance, you have to use one of two styles of chipping swings.
Style 1 is a chipping swing where the wrists are firm and the motion is controlled by the shoulders and arms. By keeping the wrists quiet the club head goes through impact without any quick or sudden movements, which would throw off your distance control. When the handle (grip end) of the club slows down at impact, the club head will usually accelerate causing an increase in power. ( This is what makes it look wristy ) This also creates an impact condition where the club head is swinging upward at impact, a common cause of skulling shots over the green. Of course, as many golfers will confirm, if you skull a couple shots over the green it is easy to become timid and careful, which causes as much trouble blading it over the green.
Style 2 allows you to hinge the wrists slightly in the back swing which is a more advanced technique. This style will help you hit shots that have more touch and control, as long as you keep the body turning through impact. You will see lower handicap golfers and pros on TV using this technique any time they need a soft chip or need to create some backspin. They will often use Style 1 as well, it just depends on the situation.
So just to be clear, an inability to control the distance of your chip shots is due to the the club head speed changing from shot to shot, the cause of which is the handle of the club slowing down through impact. I do recommend learning both styles to that you can have great distance control on your chip shots, whatever the situation on the course may be.
P.S. One additional key is to be sure to pick a spot on the green where you want your ball to land. This is a crucial element to developing a sound routine and accurate chipping.