A secret to chipping and pitching

I have been watching good chippers and bad chippers at the practice green for a few months now and I have noticed one major difference.
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On chippers/pitchers who show a level of competency, the elbow on the rear arm passes the sternum/belly button. Almost as if you were tossing a ball across your body into a basket to your left with your right hand (to your right with your left hand if you are left handed).

All bad chippers at all skill levels don’t do this. High handicappers and beginners often don’t have any turn and scoop and/or help the ball in the air as well.

Better golfers that struggle to chip have their rear arm crash into their body and never get the club to the ball. Some of this can be attributed to those making way too much of an effort to stay connected.

Think this is techno mumbo jumbo? It’s not. Go to the chipping green and try it. Make a nice smooth chipping motion and make sure as you are coming through impact your rear elbow passes your sternum/belly button.

Within 3-5 shots as you get the feel of doing that and hitting down and through the ball, you are going to be amazed how crisply you strike your shots around the green.

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17 Comments

  1. Wally

    Monte,
    On yesterdays video, If you brought that light-heartedness to your competitve golf you would be very successful. You have all the tools to be very successful, you need a caddie that will keep you loose and not giving a crap. I am sure if you had the right caddie you could win a lot.

    Reply
    • Mike from Canada

      Man Wally, you sure compliment Monte a lot. I’m not sure he’s looking for a date. I think he’s probably on team “hetro”.

      Reply
      • Brett Picotte

        I’m not sure why you would make a comment like that, Mike. He’s obviously trying to help.

        And, it’s “hetero”.

        Play well tomorrow, Monte.

        Reply
      • Mike from Canada

        Just joking Brett. Wally posts a comment stroking Monte’s ego almost every day. Just giving him a hard time.

        Sorry I didn’t spell check first 🙂

        Reply
      • Brett Picotte

        No problem. I had to look it up. 🙂

        Reply
  2. s.

    As always, the problem in golf instruction is the words.

    “Don’t give a crap,” doesn’t seem like a recipe for succeeding at anything.

    A top golfer put it this way: alert attitude of indifference.

    If calm & assertive works for the Dog Whisperer, maybe it works on golf balls too.

    Reply
  3. Peter B

    Completely agree with woody, If you do it right you have the feeling as if you throw the ball with the right hand. You accelerate with the left hip being cleared not with the arms.

    Reply
  4. Der Exilgolfer

    Monte, do you have a good video to show your point? I guess what you are promoting is a longer follow-through?

    Reply
  5. roger kramer

    Great chipping tip, exactly what I needed. Makes perfect sense and simple. Great site, thanks Monte.

    Reply
  6. Peter B

    His point is, if I may answer, people who cant chip and either hit it too hard blade it or get caught in the grass before the ball, are hitting it with the arms only. Even moving the body a bit is not enough. Get the left hip out of the way BEFORE you hit the ball, so much you get the ball throwing feeling.

    Reply
  7. Pete

    What I especially noticed in the most recent video is that Monte is taller in long pants!
    Do enjoy daily readings . . .

    ptr.

    Reply
  8. north

    Monte,

    I think you are observing a sympton and not a cause. The right elbow is past the core because the chip/pitch swing has accelerated through the ball. It also helps if the left wrist doesn’t break down, as then chipping requires extension of the right arm which only happens if the right elbow moves forward.

    So, my question to you is: “is the right elbow in front of the belly explanatory or descriptive?” I’ve told you why I think it is descriptive – what do you think?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Very astute comment north and I agree. Most of the time I am on the opposite side of the pendulum and try and point out the cause and not the symptom.

      In this one case (and I am sure there are others, they are just rare), I believe fixing the symptom will either mask or cure the cause. It will at the very least get the person having a problem pointed in the right direction and give them an idea what it feels like to have a decent motion.

      Reply
  9. Peter B

    I have tried a lot of things to be a better short game player in the last 25 years. I found that the key motion is like in the full shot to clear that left hip by straightening the left leg before the shot. Too many golfers hit that ball in front of them and not from their right side. Thanks to Monte, well he did not tell me to do hip clearance in short game, but I certainly got the idea from him, I have fun in Golf again. I look forward to the next chip and pitch and I do not fear the shot any more, I enjoy it.

    Reply
  10. tim

    i am working on the hip bump drill that you posted a while ago. its working really well, however i wonder what you think the weight should be doing when pitching? do you think there should be some weight shift or just keep the weight forward throughout the swing?

    Reply

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