CHIPPING –BEND WRIST BONE ON LEADING ARM FORWARD
AT FINISH (AND AT IMPACT)
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:
- 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.
- 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:
- Visually extend a straight, imaginary line extending up the club shaft
to the height of the leading elbow.
- 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
- 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
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:
- 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.
- The estimated number of inches the club shaft is from the middle of the
There are many reasons why these procedures work:
- 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.
- The procedure does not require the instructor or player to buy, carry and
use any special practice aid.
- This is a legal procedure to use during an official round, whereas practice
aids are banned.
- 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.