I could not believe this either but the hip motion in the short game swing for many successful professional golfers is different than the long game swing. Wow, was this a shocker when I saw this promotion for James Sieckmann’s Phase 5 System (instructor for Watney and 13 others). He learned the secrets by his close relationship with Seve Ballisteros, a master of the short game.
There really is a POWER swing (which I described in last week’s Swing Tip) and a FINESSE swing. The POWER swing uses shoulder and hip rotation in the back swing then leading the swing with your hips in the down swing. The FINESSE swing (where you don’t need power for chip and pitch shots) is a shoulder and arm backswing with minimal rotation or shift of your lower body until you follow through.
In your short game, if you are hitting a lot of fat shots (where your club digs into the ground before the ball) you may be rotating your hips in the back swing and rushing the swing with your arms so that the bottom of your swing is before the ball. You can also recognize this problem if you end up with your weight on your trailing leg or if you top or blade the ball by flipping your wrist at impact.
To improve your SHORT GAME, simply eliminates hip rotation in the backswing. It’s a calm and relaxed swing with a cadence where you let your club do the work.
1/ Your stance is narrow. Your ball is in the center or slightly back from center of your stance. For right handed players, grip with the V between your thumb and first finger on your right hand pointing to your right shoulder. Hands are ahead of the club. The balance on your feet is slightly forward.
2/ Use your shoulders and arms for the backswing (minimal hip and chest rotation) and let your club pull your arms, shoulders and then your hips through to your finishing position (chipping is a low finish, pointing at the target and a longer pitch is a high finish).
3/ Avoid taking a backswing that is too low or too much from the inside. You don’t want to put any side spin on the ball.
4/ To create a high shot or flop shot your need the club face open to allow the angle of the club to lift the ball. Your stance needs to be open for these shots.
5/ Rushing the swing causes a “down cock” or break of the wrist so that your club head never catches up to your hands causing fat shots. Commit to the height of your backswing during your practice swing and then repeat it when you make your shot.
6/ For green-side bunker shots, use a FINESSE swing. Your lower body needs to be still to ensure that your sand wedge enters the sand just before the ball and bottoms out and reaches maximum speed after the ball position. Make sure you finish the full swing.
When chipping practice the lag in your trailing wrist backswing and your flat leading wrist in your limited follow through using your GOLFSTR+. Buy one today. Great Christmas present for any want-to-be golfer.