No More Chunks and SkullsMarch 13, 2018

An Easy Fix For Your Chips

“Changing the way you hold the club can work wonders.”
David Leadbetter at the Concession Golf Club.
Photographed by J.D. Cuban at the Concession Golf Club.

There are many reasons golfers struggle when chipping, but it's often the result of a breakdown of the wrist positions through impact. As the clubhead approaches the ball, the wrist of the trail arm flips and the wrist of the lead arm cups—often an instinctive move to try to lift the ball off the ground with some quick hand action. But when the wrists break down like this, the club gouges the ground before hitting the ball—a chunk—or the leading edge contacts the top half of the ball—a blade.

So how do you prevent either from happening? Copy successful putters such as Jordan Spieth and hold the club cross-handed. That means the lead hand grips the club lower than the trail hand. Sounds radical, but it really isn't. In fact, Vijay Singh, among others on the pro tours, used this technique to try to improve his chipping.

It works because it helps prevent that wristy motion that kills so many short-game shots. Try holding the club like this when you hit practice chips, and get a feel for how the hands should move through impact—no flip! You can then switch back to a standard grip and re-create the exaggerated feel you just learned, or use this lead-hand low technique when you play. The choice is yours, but this grip could rescue your short game. — with Ron Kaspriske

David Leadbetter, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, runs 32 academies worldwide.