If you are topping or sculling your chip shots, I’ve got a couple of tips here that can hopefully help you improve the performance on those and get rid of those tops and sculls.
So, the first thing is to check your ball position. Now, with the golf swing where it is tilted over and swinging, all swings are going to have some kind of art to it, there’s going to be a natural down, natural bottoming out, and a natural of, and largely, that’s dictated by where your C7 vertebrae is, it’s this vertebrae where your shoulders, neck, and spine come together, so wherever that is, that’s going to basically dictate where the low point on the bottom of your swing arc is going to be. So, what can happen is, if the ball is all a bit too far forward in your stands and your club comes down and levels out, and then you don’t move yourself forward to go get it, then you might be catching the ball slightly on upswing and hitting it closer to the equator like this or just under the equator versus like getting or catching up slightly on the downswing and catching it underneath the ball, so it could be an issue of ball positioning a little bit forward and catching it on the upswing. So, what you can do to just check for that is get your ball in position and set up for a practice swing, and take a practice swing, and notice where your club is bottoming out. So, if it is bottoming out a little bit behind the ball, then you know you need to move yourself a little bit more forward such that the bottom is right at the ball or may be just a little bit after the ball, so that is the first thing, just check your ball position. That could be an issue.
I think more commonly, what I see though is an issue of a lack of smoothness to the chips and a little bit of a jerkiness and a jab and a hit which can partially come from a little bit of the nervousness of the shot, so think about a tetherball, so you’ve got a maypole, and that a ball going around the maypole, and as long as of the string going around the ball or the rope has no tension in it, then it’s going to be – the ball is going to come around in the same point of space every time. However, if you put a little tension in that and give a little tug, the likelihood of that ball coming around to that same spot again is going to be lowered. So, similarly in the chipping, if you are being a little bit kind of jerky, it does not take too much to go from a good clean chip to a scull, so it’s just a little bit of space there. So, when you have some tension and a little bit of jerkiness in your chips, then that can make it a little bit difficult, I guess to get the club back consistently with a good strike. So, I would say with that, just an easy little drill that you can do with that is the humming drill or the air blow drill. So, hum a little bit while you are chipping, or if you don’t want someone to hear you, just below a little air out of your nose and mouth such that you can sense but other people can’t hear, and then pay attention to the flow of the hum or the air below, so if you are going [humming] versus [humming] – sorry – pay attention for rigidity in the hum, and just make sure it’s smooth, so [humming], and if you’re smooth, then there’s likely going to be a little less tension in your chipping motion, little bit less jerkiness and that club can come around a little bit easier and a little bit more consistently in that same spot.
So, those are the two things I would say if you are having an issue with topping or sculling your chip shots, watch your ball position, make sure it is not too far forward and you are catching it on the upswing and catching it in the equator of the ball and sculling it or topping at, and then also, just monitor the amount of tension that you have and just make sure that you are chipping smoothly and not having a jerky hit or some kind of jerkiness. Make it be pendular, make it be kind of a boneless feel, so those are the two things I would say to try if you are topping or sculling your chip shots. Give those things a little bit of practice, and then hopefully, your chipping strikes will be much better and more consistent, and you will be rid of these tops and sculls.