Tiger Woods’s secret to being unbeaten in the short-game

Some players consider chipping and pitching to be completely different from a complete swing. They carry within themselves the feeling of the full-swing without actually executing it, as well as automatically narrowing the shot the way they feel about the short-game. I, on the contrary, never thought that way. My movement in the short-game is a scaled-down version of the full swing – retaining the same grip, tempo and swing position. No matter the situation, I maintain intact feel on my shots, whether I’m driving with a club or chipping out of a tight lie. Everything becomes easier if I stay that way.

Your goal: Find the technique that you are most comfortable with and stick to most often unless you find yourself in a situation where you have to do something different than usual. You often think you can imitate the short-game style of top PGA Tour pros by learning a variety of strokes. This is completely unnecessary. I struggled with short-game difficulties a few years ago, which I overcame by remembering the basics and focusing on the solid connection needed on each shot. If chipping is not good, you may spend more strokes to complete a hole.

Because my chipping motion is so closely tied to my complete swing, it has gradually changed as I’ve worked with different coaches over the years. In the past, I used to keep the shaft upright and grip the club looser. Then when I moved the club, the grip dropped lower at the address point than it does now. For me, staying comfortable in a new chipping stroke is always one of the hardest parts of changing your swing, but it’s so important.

When chipping, my angle of attack is shallower than usual if you want your shots to be consistent. This makes it easier for you to have good control in a high-incline movement, especially when you don’t have much time to practice like me. But being shallower also helps me play a variety of short-game shots like high-spin hook shots. Everyone can hit a crisp chip shot with a steeper angle of attack, but not everyone is comfortable shaping this new shot. But spinning chips will be one of the good options to help you approach the green better.

Although I recommend sticking to the chipping style you are most confident with, sometimes you still need to consider the line of the ball before landing your shot. Take a few extra seconds to decide exactly where you want the ball to land, then visualize how it flies over the green. I have seen amateur players often fail to read the chip line similarly to putting and then the ball ends up out of the hole. Therefore, you need to focus on visualizing the connection when choosing a specific landing spot.

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