Symptom: Poor chipping, failure to get up and down from around the green. The frequent “you are still away”. It may have taken you only two swings to get within ten feet of the hole but all too often it takes you another three or four to get into the cup. What a dumb game, you mutter. “Why can’t I get up and down like they do on TV?”
Description: When you practice chipping, do the up and down drill. That is, get up and down. Putt each and every golf ball into the hole, no matter how good or bad your chip was. And keep putting until you make the putt. Every chip should eventually be putted into the hole, completing the up and down. No exceptions!
Why it works: By putting in every golf ball that you chip, there is immediate feedback on your chipping performance. A good chip results in an easy tap-in. A poor chip leaves a tough downhill putt, and so on. By finishing each chip with the subsequent putt, you reinforce the consequences of poor chips. And you practice around the green the way you do on the course — a chip is followed by a putt, not another chip. It seems like a small and simple thing, but believe me, when you force yourself to clean up every chip you take, both your chipping and your putting will improve because of the focus this drill brings.
What’s Your Up and Down Percentage?
Keep track of your up-and-down percentage. Are you at 30%? 50%? 80%? My bet is that when you keep track of it you are not as good as you had thought. This tends to make you practice a bit more. Also a good thing.
Your up-and-down percentage will surely improve if you keep your hands ahead of the ball while chipping, forcing you to hit down on the ball. I also encourage you to practice your chips from realistic lies, to make the practice more relevant. When you do, you will want to duplicate your lie for a few rehearsal chips before you hit the ball. All of this is built around the idea of making your practice as realistic as possible so you can execute under pressure, on the course, with your buddies watching, with money on the line.
Of course, you could also just hole out your chip to boost your percentage and claim your victory, like these guys did. Have a look:
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