I rediscovered my chipping feel this weekend

Many of you will say, “That’s very nice Monte,and?…” until you realize how bad it was. I went to the Pelz school (and other big named gurus) in the 90’s looking for the perfect way to do everything so I could get over the Q-school hump.

What I did was destroy my game. I first remember my feel being horrible at Q-school in 1999. I layed the sod over 5 or 6 easy chips and was pretty bad the whole week. I lipped out an 80 foot putt for eagle on the 72nd hole to miss by one.

Not hard to see where I could have saved a shot.

In the last 12 years I have ranged from the short game of a pro who needs to shore it up as the weak part of my game…to a short game a 20 handicap would make fun of.

Once, for a 3 month period, I chunked every 60 yard shot off a tight lie. There were also times I would have to run the ball up and/or putt on a basic shot for fear of a Starkist Chunky Tuna Special. Yes, I have been fighting the chip and pitch yips off and on for 12 years…which is sad since everyone who played with me in the early/mid 90’s will tell you this was a strength in my game.

EVERY chip/pitch I have hit for the last 12 years or so, my feel was bad and all good shots were talented hand manipulations. Because I wasn’t doing anything technically wrong, no one knew anything was wrong.

Not hard to see why my scores have suffered. It put pressure on my also declining ball striking and basically made all missed GIR a bogey or worse.

Wow, that was painful to write, but makes the return of my feel all the more gratifying.

I write this for two reasons. One, I am very excited that golf will be more fun for me. Two, don’t be so hard on yourselves, this game can crush anyone. You are not alone.

…and as I said once before, I will jump in the hole with you, because I have been in there and know the way out.

Some will say 12 years is a long time to take to figure it out. That is a fair point. The problem was I wasn’t doing anything incorrectly, so there was nothing to fix.

The problem was I was doing it incorrectly for ME, and something that subjective, is hard to fix. I have only had the right approach for two years. In other words, trying to figure out what was right for me, instead of forcing myself to do it the “right way.”

I have been doing it the right way for a while, but that feel did not work for me at anything but a slightly below adequate level.

I had to purge all of the garbage feels that had infested me. In other words, I had a lot of scar tissue to break down before I could begin the healing process.

I am hoping my chipping rehab is over.

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9 Comments

  1. Wally

    Monte I will give you a lesson frome the best chipper I know ME

    Reply
  2. Calvin

    Wow, that must be a relief. Chipping is what makes the birdies count.

    Reply
  3. wally

    I practice chipping into a laundry basket in my back yard, works great

    Reply
  4. Calvin

    I have the same problem. On a lesser level of expertise of course. I can get the club to chunk with thousands of different methods and thoughts. Tomorrow I will try a method shown in the latest Golf magazine, which I bought on a whim for the first time in years. 🙂 Brad Brewer says rotate your right forearm to toe up and then just turn your chest to the target. 🙂

    I’m curious about your epiphany.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      The object is to find a rotation that allows your hands to drop the club on the ball, instead of your hands dragging the club to the ball.

      Brad Brewer’s way is no bueno, IMO. That is very Dave Pelzish, which is what got me in trouble in the first place.

      My epiphany was to get my right shoulder very, so my hands would be out in front of me. It was after watching that Rory McIlroy video the other day.

      It dawned on me that is why mt feel was bad, because I had to drag my hands through impact.

      The higher the right shoulder, the more over the top one would get in theory…but since OTT gets the club out in front of you, it was a good thing for me to “unstick” my feel.

      Reply
  5. Calvin

    Ah hell, just do it like this:

    Reply
  6. woody

    First of all, congratulations on shoring-up a weak part of your game.

    You say you were doing everything right…but, that probably means the way the gurus tought it. Having different mechanics for various shots introduces uncertainty. As you move away from the hole, at some point you have to question whether to use your chip mechanics, or your full swing mechanics.

    Competitive golf must be tough enough already, without trying to play golf-swing at the same time. On the LPGA, I notice more players with chips that differ in mechanics from their full swing…probably the guru effect.

    You can still have creativity with uniformity…ball position, choke-up, stance width, follow-through, etc…with your swing sequence the same, but maybe more emphasis on certain parts of it.

    But, maybe having confidence in what you’re doing is the clincher.

    Reply
  7. Walter

    I play off a 2 handicap and was once a +2. My chipping is for the lack of a better word, ’embarrassing’. Shot 67 the other day because I missed 3 greens, but because I missed by so little, I could putt the ball. Please help, I chunk it, thin it, blade it, shank it, you name it. And its starting to filter into my half shots too now?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Would have to see a video, but for a good player, it is often a holding off of the release issue.

      Reply

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