Chipping Practice – Touch and Feel

By on February 17, 2014

Touch and feel is not that complicated. It is really simple. We all have it. To demonstrate, I’m going to throw 3 balls to a hole 40 feet away. I just take a ball and toss it underhanded and the first one I’m going to toss too hard on purpose. The second one, I’m going to toss it too easy on purpose. Now that I have the contrasting feel, I’m going to toss the third ball and split the difference between the two. That’s the best way to unlock your touch and feel.


Solid Contact Skills are a Prerequisite

But in golf, the ball is not in your hand – the ball is being struck at the moment of impact. Hitting the chip solid has to be second nature through practicing the line drill and the other drills I have shown you for this. If we are good at hitting the ball solid, the next thing you need to do is hit chip shots and do something very similar to the above mentioned ball toss drill.

So you will be doing your technique, you’re up-down-up arc is critical. You will be getting used to your wrists not being a flipper and thrower. It will be an applier of force. Keep this in mind, you will hear me say this over and over. I need to reinforce this and we need that smack, that pop, that impact. Then we take that and we turn it into our technique and our mechanics so now we start hitting the ball solid most of the time. Then and only then you can start working on your touch and feel.


Mind over Matter

Practice, practice, practice. Trying too hard means your conscious mind is trying to be in charge. I have got to take you where your technique is so second nature that you can truly only think getting the ball in the hole.

If you look at great chippers and observe their technique, it is so basic. Great chipping is not just about technique. They took the technique and then they practiced. And when they practiced, they felt, they sensed, they paid attention and then that got into their system. They developed a tremendous amount of confidence and belief and trust so then they just go out and have that flow.


Practice Drill – Contrast Drill

Now, let’s do a contrast drill. First, I will hit a chip that is noticeably too hard that goes too far. The second one, I will hit it too easy. Again I’m always trying to have good technique as I do it. And then especially early on I am not going to try to be too perfect. Then I will split the difference.  I do this over and over to unlock my feel.

You will go too far, too easy and split the difference. Too far, too easy and split the difference. That is one of the great ways to help that part of your brain that figures out touch and feel to know the difference as opposed to just standing here and trying to be perfect and trying to get close to the hole. If you do the latter, you will never develop your golfing skills because you may be too stiff, too rigid or you are too perfectionistic.

I hope that helps. Hope it makes sense. That should give you an idea between theory to skill to touch and feel. That’s really how the process works.
If you want more practice ideas, check out more articles under this category and I bet you will have a lot of fun applying your new knowledge.


Charlie King is a Golf Digest 50 Best Instructor and a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. He is the author of 3 golf instruction books with one on the way. He created the website to help golfers keep their uniqueness as they improve at this crazy, great game.

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