In the last two days, I have been convinced that chipping yips are caused by the left arm staying too low for too long.
I had two different students who went from literally not being able to get the club on the ball with a high lofted wedge on a tight lie, to going over 50% on their up and downs for the day on the course.
All I told both of them was to lift their left arm and hinge their wrists and reduce the violence in their transition. The irony was they turned even more than they usually do to make room for this move.
It also carried over into their full swing. One of them was a lipout from 10 feet on 9 away from shooting par for the first time in his life and it was still his low 9 (37). He is a 12 handicap.
Now, I went through the chips yips as well, and only started to come out of them about a year ago. I didn’t really make any adjustments. I just let the improvement in my swing bleed into my chipping motion.
I did a little experiment. I kept my left arm low and pulled it across my body and filmed it. It wasn’t a significant difference from a visual standpoint, but holy cow pies did it have an affect on feel. I immediately got the yip feeling.
All of this started from discussions Frank and I have been having about his chipping and full swing and how he hasn’t felt enough up and has felt too around.
It essentially comes down to this. Most beginners start with too much lift and not enough turn. Low and slow, use the big muscles, turn don’t lift, etc., gets beat into all of us and we over do it.
Not enough early lift leads to too much late lift, arm over run and a long backswing.
More and more I am believing that most golfers don’t set their hands early enough, or correctly and that has led to the left arm staying too low for too long.
Low and slow, widen the arc (to narrow), float loading to get more lag and other such things that lead to later hand set and later arm lift, keep getting worse and worse, the more I study and learn.
Obviously too much of a good thing is bad, but the key to the backswing is this:
The earlier you set your hands and the more your left arm lifts, the more you can turn your body.
The key is the hands set gradually, the arm lifts gradually and that syncs up with the turn…but these gradual moves needs to start with the initial movement off the ball so they don’t happen all at once, too late, or not at all.
Purposely going inside, staying low and keeping the hands from setting, sends the turn in a bad direction.
I am also starting to think the word “gradual” should apply to almost every movement in the golf swing. I have used gradual release for 4 years now. Handset and arm lift are added to the list. I can probably a hip turn on downswing, rotation of the left arm (on downswing which is key to gradual release), gradual weight shift back and through.
I would also like to “gradually” eliminate coil, lag, restrict, barrel, pronation, flexion, and other such words from golf vernacular.
Actually, how about immediately.