2008-02-08 / Sports

Golf Instruction - Fundamentals Of The Backswing

By Joel Garyn

(Garyn is a USGTF Golf Professional. You can contact him for lessons at 347-404-3751.)

Last week we discussed the fundamentals of the chip shot. Let's talk about ball placement for chip shots and the correct backswinging and forward swing for these types of shots around the green.

As with most shots, you'll hit better chips if your setup position is correct. The goal of your chipping address position is to situate your body, arms, hands and club to create a descending blow without chunking the clubhead into the ground or striking the ball with the leading edge of the clubface.

This is a key move- the clubhead is low. Compare the height of the ball with the height of the clubhead: The ball is high and the clubhead is still very low to the ground. This proves that a downward strike, not an upward flip, gets the ball rolling up the clubface and into the air. At the address the handle of your club should be two inches farther toward the target than the front edge of the ball.

An easy way to create the desired descending blow is to keep your left shoulder down through impact. Don't raise your left shoulder. Keep it low and square to your target line.

Wrist flat: You won't chip well if you flip your hands through impact or bend your wrists. Your left wrist should be as flat as possible. If you have trouble keeping your left wrist from breaking down, try using your putting grip.

Weight forward: At the address, distribute the majority of your weight over your front foot and, more importantly, keep it there throughout your stroke. If you hang back on your right side, your swing will bottom out before the ball and you'll catch the ball thin.

Ball position: Place ball back in your stance almost in line with the big toe on your rear foot.

Proper swing motion: Move the club with your arms and shoulders while keeping your hands and wrists quiet and your weight on your left side. As you swing through the hitting zone you should feel as though you're striking down on the ball while gently closing the clubface. To draw a comparison, this motion is a pendulum on a grandfather's clock!

Please practice the above. It's all good stuff and you will like the results. Please call me at 917-404- 3751 or e-mail me at ItchGolf@aol.com, if you have any questions. Lessons are available, weather permitting, at the Brooklyn Golf Center Driving Range.

Have a safe week.

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