Archives for February, 2021

Solution for Chipping Frustration!

I recently watched a blog by Danny Maude where he presents a new way to improve short chips (without using a conventional chipping swing). How often do you hit a green and then roll about 2 to 10 feet off the green? Then you hit the chip fat or thin. Something takes over your body so that you just can’t make a basic chip. The problem is all in the use of a combination of your legs, arms and wrists. If you have this problem, stay tuned for your hallelujah moment.

This tip is ideal to help with SHORT chips that run out up to about 20 feet. YOU DON’T NEED TO USE A CONVENTIONAL GOLF SWING TO MAKE THESE CHIPS. The LOWER you grip down on your club the easier it is to control the swing. When you grip lower down your club (even below the grip on your club so that your club is almost vertical to the ground), you have better control of the swing direction. You only lose power. Short chips DON’T NEED POWER. You want short chips with CLEAN HITS and PERFECT DIRECTIONAL CONTROL.

There are 3 types of short chips covered in this blog: Chip & Run, Chip & Check-up and Chipping in Heavy Grass. Higher lofted clubs will give you a higher chip so you can chose from any iron loft up to a 60 degree wedge. Experiment with all lofted clubs to find your comfort level but remember to make adjustments to higher lofted clubs for shorter chips with shorter run-outs.

Setup: Narrow stance, feet parallel and angled 25 to 45 degrees forward, move your hands down to the bottom of the grip or even below your grip and down the shaft to hold your club almost in a vertical position. You will be hitting off the toe of your club as it points toward the ground. Your shoulders should be horizontal to the ground and you need to keep your eye on the ball until after impact.

Chipping in Heavy Grass: Grip down your shaft so that your club is almost vertical. The shortened shaft makes it easier to hit and control the ball. Setup for heavy grass back in your stance and with forward shaft lean.

1/ Chip & Run-out: Use this method to clear the fringe or narrow rough and run out to a distant pin location. Don’t setup with a shaft lean. Ball position is lined up between your toes. Rock your shoulders to swing your straight arms and use gravity to swing the weight of your club. Use a minor wrist release after impact as you swing up your target line.

2/ Chip & Check-up: Use this to clear the fringe or narrow rough and check-up quickly at a close pin. You need height for this shot so use a lofted wedge or sand wedge. No shaft lean. Open your stance a few inches more and use more body and hip rotation while you swing with your straight arms.

3/ Chip in Heavy Grass: Open your club face and setup up with the ball further back in your stance (off your trailing toe) and with your club leaning slightly forward. Use an abbreviated follow-through. This swing requires the most energy of the 3 types of chips.

Recommended: Choose a primary club (like a pitching wedge) for most of your chips to ensure that you get comfortable with the expected height and roll-out for a variety of situations. Only practice will help you understand the right amount of shoulder swing needed to stop near the hole.

This is NOT a conventional golf swing for chipping but it is easy to use if you normally blade or hit fat chips when you are within 20 feet from the pin. Practice these chips with GOLFSTR+ to lock your leading wrist (exactly the same way you would load it to practice putting). Buy one today at

Golf Truism #47: If you seem to be hitting your shots straight on the driving range, it’s probably because you’re not aiming at anything.

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Golf Is Not an Intuitive Game

Anyone who hopes to master the game of golf needs to approach the game with reasonable expectations. There is no such thing as a natural golfer. Understanding swing path and the resulting shape and distance that you can achieve with each club is a great starting point. Learning from a mentor who can recognize your weaknesses and fine tune your swing to improve distance and direction control is definitely an advantage. Anyone can become a “good” golfer but you need to follow some basic principles.

Consider what some outstanding professional golfers have done:
Tiger Woods: He learned the basics from his father but he also had the internal drive to be successful. Unfortunately that drive and attitude got derailed during his marriage break up. That confirms that our metal state of mind has a lot to do with our success.
Dustin Johnson: His strength and skill went sideways with drugs but he is now back on track.
Matt Kuchar: Age must be a factor. Matt was very successful in his earlier years, lost the winning formula and then won the Sony Open in 2019 even with his aging body at 41. [We all remember Tom Watson almost winning the 2009 Open at the age of 59.] Limit your expectations as you age. Work on accuracy as you lose distance.
Bubba Watson: He has never taken a lesson and is totally self-taught. He is one of the longest drivers but direction control and focus for all of his clubs seem to have ended his winning ways. Control your draw or fade to control your success.

Others like Phil Michelson, Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy and Jordon Spieth have had their ups and downs with their long and short golf careers. So how can we apply their successes to our games? As weekend warriors or want-to-be golfers, what should we do to get the best out of our games?

Mental Attitude: Every mishit ball is a frustration for every golfer. Recognizing the cause is a critical starting point. You need to turn your attitude around by attacking your weaknesses. Start by taking lessons, practicing on the range and calming your mind and body. Learn that a wonderful drive or iron shot will NOT improve by swinging harder and faster.

Physical Conditioning: This is typically a problem as we age and lose our flexibility. Spend time daily to improve your basic strength and range of motion. Strained muscles can help your game by forcing you to slow down or limit your motion. Use your recovery period as a learning experience because your game will often improve when you slow down to improve your lag and get more control & distance for each shot.

Focus and Apply What Works For YOU: After a long slump, Jordon Spieth recently discovered that he needed to create a slight loop at the top of his swing to SHALLOW his club in the downswing (keeping his trailing elbow closer to his rib cage). Swinging from the inside and impacting the inside quadrant of the ball has turned his game around. It may help you too.

It’s difficult to see from this image but Jordon discovered that he needs to lower his downswing plane so that his trailing elbow nearly grazes his rib cage. The shallowing of his swing plane has made all the difference in his recent success.

Keep a record of what works for Your Game to control distance and direction for your driver, irons and putter. Refine those points as your confidence improves and your scores will drop. Practicing with GOLFSTR+ will help you overcome your swing flaws. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #46: No matter how far its shaft extends, a ball retriever is always a foot too short to reach the ball.

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Take More Time for Your Full Backswing

Learning to keep your leading arm straight in your backswing is a critical step for more distance. Unfortunately, too many of us rush the backswing and never benefit from the straight leading arm. Limiting your backswing is one way to ensure that your arm is straight but it’s not the ideal solution. You should take more time to complete your backswing (with a straight arm & cocked wrist) and to start your weight transfer to your leading foot.

Don’t rush your backswing. Our recent blogs have focused on ways to create more time for more rotation in your backswing. By thinking the words “1 aaand 2” to manage the timing of your swing you are not only creating a 2-step rhythm but you are also blocking out other thoughts.
1/ Count “1 aaand 2”, by adding “aaand”. It gives you more time for more backswing.
2/ You may want to try lifting your leading heel to give you more rotation without bending your leading arm.
3/ The more time you take the easier it is to rotate your hips and then your shoulders as you lift your straight leading arm. (Older bodies have less flexibility so it takes us more time to coil up our bodies.)
4/ The power hitter (like Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson) start their driver takeaway by flattening their leading wrist (IT WORKS!). They naturally cock their wrists for lag at the top of their backswing.

Bryson DeChambeau is the only pro that I have seen with a flat leading wrist for his driver and iron setup. Flatten your leading wrist as the first move in your takeaway.
Dustin Johnson flattens his leading wrist for his irons and its the first move that he makes during his driver takeaway.

Resulting Problems
More backswing coil gives you more power and distance for each club but it generates a few problems.
1/ A longer drive is always helpful but you may find that you have to drop down a club on holes with doglegs.
2/ You will find that you are adding about 10 more yards for most of your clubs. You have to adjust your club selection to hit your greens in regulation. Hitting further with each club is fun to watch but not fun to play when they rocket over your target green.
3/ The worst problem that I found is that can pull some of my shots. To avoid pulls, I still setup square to the ball but I have to focus on impacting the ball on the inside quadrant of the ball.

Don’t get frustrated with your changing game. Accept the fact that you are increasing your distance as that will ultimately improve your Greens in Regulation. Make adjustments with your club selection and your line up to benefit from your NEW GAME.

Don’t complete your takeaway on a low plane as it will result in an over the top slice swing. Your takeaway should be straight back so that you can shallow your downswing and hit the inside quadrant of your ball to create a straight or draw shot.

A good starting point for the game of golf is to learn your straight leading arm backswing. Let your hips and shoulders coil during your backswing as your head stays over your ball. Take more time in your backswing to start your forward weight press. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to build confidence in your straight arm backswing. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #45 Your straightest iron shot of the day will be exactly one club short.

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Tricks to Swing with a Flat Leading Wrist

In our last blog we recommended slowing down your backswing to allow more time for the weight shift during your transition. We are actually trying to achieve a number of movements during our back swing but you may not realize this. All of the movements seem to melt into one consistent motion. If you miss one key element in your backswing you will destroy the downswing and your perfect impact.

I noticed that the top golfer in the world, Dustin Johnson, starts his takeaway by bending his trailing wrist back to flatten his leading wrist. Bryson DeChambeau sets up with a very rigid straight leading arm and flat leading wrist which points down along the shaft of his club directly out from his leading foot. No other professional golfer setup with this rigid leading arm setup. It actually makes him look like a stiff robot but the power he generates is even greater than Dustin’s so it must be helping.

Dustin ends up bowing his leading wrist at the top of his backswing and adding more angles that need to be adjusted in his downswing. An even worse situation is that many recreational golfers cup their wrists.
Bryson keeps his leading wrist flat at the top of his swing and just unloads his straight arm down and through his ball whipping the head of his club through the ball with the explosive force of a catapult. We all need to learn from his powerful swing.

Hank Haney used these images in Golf Digest to illustrate a flat leading wrist to eliminate angles. Images to the right show cupped and bowed wrists which should be avoided.

1/ FLAT LEADING WRIST: Setting up with a rigid straight leading arm and wrist (like Bryson) is obviously not anyone’s preference (as no one else is doing it on the pro circuit). Why not setup with a straight leading arm, then flatten your leading wrist as the first move in your takeaway, the way Dustin does it.
2/ ADD RHYTHM TO YOUR SWING: Slow down you take-away to give yourself time to flatten your leading wrist and then cock that wrist to create lag at the top of you swing. That slower take-away also give you time to put some rhythm in your backswing as you transfer your weight to your leading foot. To slow down my takeaway I often mentally say: “1 aaand 2” with the rhythm of a 2-Step.
“1” to start my take-away as I flatten my leading wrist
“aaand” as I load up my back-swing with lag and start to shift my weight to my leading leg
“2” to start my downswing. I shallow my downswing from the inside and up my target line to a balanced pose.

Now that I have slowed down my backswing I have added about 10 yards for every club. I love the extra distance but it requires some adjustment to drop down a club for each distance. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight and also to keep your leading wrist flat. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #44: The lowest numbered iron in your bag will always be impossible to hit.

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