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A helping hand

Good rhythm and motion for pitches and chips require the correct feel

A helping hand

Practicing chips and pitches with one hand - both right and left - will promote a smooth swing and give you a feel for what each hand is doing.
Joey Cobbs, Southland Golf

Many amateurs struggle around the green with inconsistent contact and a rushed or choppy motion. A couple drills I use to help my students with pitches and chip-and-run shots should work for you as well.

The pitch drill starts with throwing a ball underhanded toward the target to instill the rhythm and motion you want with a club in your hand. It also trains you to feel athletic around the green and helps you visualize trajectory and spin.

From there, hit balls with only your trail hand on the club to feel the same rhythm and sequencing that occurs as the clubface drops through gravity in a pendulum motion. The drill also encourages the club to bottom out at the same point each time and helps you use the bounce of the club correctly.

Since a chip-and-run shot comes out lower with less spin, practice that move using only your lead hand to limit clubface rotation and hinging of the wrists. You want to match the club’s shaft with your lead arm at address and throughout the swing, and by keeping the handle ahead of the ball it will come out low and run.

To finish the drill, place your other hand on the grip and maintain the same rhythm and feel as you chip the ball with the proper touch and roll to the hole.

Chris Mayson is director of the Maderas Golf Academy in Poway and one of Golf Digest’s Top Young Teachers in America. He can be reached at (858) 342-6967 or chrismaysongolf.com.

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