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Form 16



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On a low running chip shot, the wrist bone on the leading arm should protrude forward at impact. A high percentage of golfers fail to do this. It is a fatal chipping error. The knuckles of the leading hand should never be ahead of the wrist bone at impact. When that happens, the clubhead at impact will be ahead of the wrist bone, which causes two problems:

  1. The face of the club would then be further ahead of the grip than it would otherwise be. At impact, that increases the loft angle of the clubface. In turn, that causes the ball to fly higher and roll a shorter distance, resulting in the ball stopping well short of the cup on most such shots.
  2. If the ball position is too far forward, the face of the club can rise higher at impact than it would normally would. That causes the club to impact the ball higher than it should, resulting in the ball running longer than expected. In some cases, the ball does not get airborne, rolls well past the cup, sometimes off of the green.

Here is what to do to correct those problems. At impact, it is difficult for many players to see whether the wrist is bent forwards or backwards. That is because the hands and club are moving at impact and because the golfer instinctively looks at where the ball goes.
The finish position of the chip shot serves as a reasonable proxy for the position of the wrist at impact. That is because on a low running chip shot, the club moves normally only a short distance from impact to the finish position.
To observe this wrist bone at the finish position, the golfer should absolutely freeze the club, arms and hands at the finish of the swing. Hold that finish position without the slightest movement for about full ten seconds. It takes the golfer about ten practice swings to remember to freeze in the finish position without any movement of the hands or club. To learn to do this, the golfer should initially swing without attempting to hit a ball.

If there is no movement of the club, arms or hand in the finish position, the golfer should look down and do the following:

  1. Visually extend a straight, imaginary line extending up the club shaft to the height of the leading elbow.
  2. Determine if that imaginary shaft line falls to the right, left or on the line to the middle of the leading elbow (the left elbow for a right-handed golfer.)
  3. Estimate how many inches the line is from the exact center of the elbow and state the number of inches aloud to the instructor, if this occurs during the lesson.

What is the desired performance? For a low running chip shot, you should have the line pointing to the left of the elbow or at worst on the line to the middle of the elbow, never to the right.

On the recording form CHIPPING- BEND THE LEADING WRIST FORWARD AT FINISH (AND AT IMPACT), record two pieces of data immediately after each shot:

  1. The direction of the upward extension of the clubshaft in relation to the middle of the leading elbow : right (R), left (L) or on (O) the line.
  2. The estimated number of inches the club shaft is from the middle of the elbow .


There are many reasons why these procedures work:

  1. The golfer is monitoring his or her performance, not the instructor. This is a plus because the golfer is not with the instructor 99% of the time the golfer plays and practices.
  2. The procedure does not require the instructor or player to buy, carry and use any special practice aid.
  3. This is a legal procedure to use during an official round, whereas practice aids are banned.
  4. The procedure is relatively simple. Golfers who have never hit a golf ball in their lives do this assessment accurately in ten minutes or less of the instructor introducing it.
To maintain this chipping behavior, the golfer should continue to observe this performance during practice and rounds played for the rest of the player’s golfing career and periodically record this data. On average, your chip shots will fly better and stop closer than they do when you bend the knuckles ahead of the wrist bone at impact.

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