Tiger Woods - Chipping Woes

Even the best players in the world struggle around the greens from time to time! In this video, I'll show you what caused Tiger Woods to lay the sod over multiple chips this past weekend at the Hero World Challenge. I'll show you some of the distinct differences in his green side technique and I'll also give you a couple of areas to pay attention to in your own game that will ultimately help you become a great short game player.

  • Stay wide with both arms and rotate with some wrist set during the takeaway. 
  • Make sure the left thumb is not pushing on the shaft and the right hand is relaxed. 
  • Keep the forearms close together and rotating through the hitting area. 

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Loran
In almost any type of swing, a player should relax the right arm dominant and think about extending the left arm through to the finish? Golf is about a game of balance, the swing?
June 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. Yes, the majority of good players focus on the lead arm working correctly through impact and extending through the release. Golf is definitely a game of balance.
June 20, 2015
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Thomas
I spent some considerable time w/pga pro on this same thing and he taught hinge and turn, hinge and turn.
December 9, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
There are several different takes on chipping technique. Read some of the posts further down in this thread and see some of our comments that relate to other instructional methods when it comes to short game.
December 9, 2014
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Thomas
What kind of video(s) and location of the camera should I take and send for review, especially in this crazy winter weather here in N.H. I can do it indoors?
December 9, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Tom -- Being from NH as well I am all too familiar with the winter months. Reviews can be sent in from anywhere around the house. Just as long as we can see the full body movements from face and down the line you will be good to go. Hope that helps and keep the snow up there please
December 9, 2014
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paul
Tiger has been narrow and steep since he first started working with Sean Foley. Foley destroyed his once great short game...including bunkers.
December 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. I am not in the business to discount other instructors methods or approaches to the golf swing. However, I will agree that some of Foley's methods have been harmful to Tiger's overall game and feel around the greens.
December 9, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
I will second Craig's post for sure!!!!
December 9, 2014
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Lester
Hey, Tyler, nice video on Tiger's "chipping/pitching" problems~! Since we've been taught by RST that the "push vs. pull" fault also applies to the full swing, I presume that the "left thumb/right" hand fault-cause also applies to the full swing?
December 9, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Lester and sounds like Craig gave a perfect answer!!!
December 9, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Lester. Yes, you are correct. The left thumb/right depending on which side of the ball you play from can easily mess up good mechanics. Take a look at the Left Thumb Pain Video in the Advanced Downswing Section for further explanation.
December 9, 2014
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brian
This is correct. If you push with the right hand you will bend the left arm at the elbow. I have a student who has this problem. He is a very fine blind golfer and has difficulty keeping his left arm straight. I think this explanation is fine so I have forwarded it on to Tiger via his email. What do you think of wrist chipping as both Bobby Jones and Tommy Armour used this technique? Cheers, Dr.Brian Hunt.
December 9, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Brian -- There is certainly a ton of different information out there on short game and many great players have always tried to convey what worked so well for them during the period in which they play. Wrist chipping has proved to work for several players in the past and it is a pretty free flowing way approach to short game. Then you look at modern players like Phil who preaches the hinge and hold and has worked with Pelz for many years on just this part of his game. When teaching short game, I found that eliminating variables that are causing poor striking of the shot and adjusting to what the student may need to become better around the greens has been the best approach. The recommended video on 30 yard pitch shots, Chuck shows a technique that is east to use and can help students overcome a lot of common mistakes around the green.
December 9, 2014
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andy
Surely its as much a release issue as a push with the right hand, or maybe the push causes the lack of release?? When you still the video just after impact the shaft angle is hugely different from one to the other so the lead edge is hitting the ground rather than the bounce of the club.
December 9, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Andy -- You can see the right wrist actually increase in angle at impact and post impact which puts the right hand in more of a position of leverage to push. The push can steepen the club and make it difficult for the lead wrist to rotate through the hitting area as it will normally resist.
December 9, 2014
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WILLIAM
Maybe the left arm did what it did because he hit the ground rather than the other way around.
December 8, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey William -- Thanks for posting. The frame that I stopped the chunk shot on was actually directly at impact and the next 2 frames show the trail side push pretty drastically. Less right hand and more rotation would solve that problem pretty quickly. I actually saw more video on it today after I released this one and you can see it pretty clearly what is going on. He will get it worked out as short game is never a problem for him.
December 8, 2014
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peter
Chris, I'd be very interested in your and Chuck's interpretation of James Sieckmann's approach to the short game. No concepts about how to hit proper pitch shots, particularly from tight lies that need some touch/loft, have proved more valuable. You HAVE to understand the function and use of the BOUNCE and combining "steeps" and "shallows." It's, I believe, the only way to handle the difficult delicate shots that need super touch and loft, and Tiger needed this in many of his flubbed attempts with those tight lies and fast greens. Hands forward is correct, if you want the ball to run out some, but the shaft has to get close to vertical at impact. It's the opposite of a full swing: sensation of arms going first and near/at impact CHEST HAS TO ROTATE to shallow it out. Arms first: steep, chest to collect the ball second: shallow. The two must go together. And the set up is crucial. I'm sure you have seen Sieckmann's stuff. Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
December 9, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Peter -- I am a bit familiar with James's approach to short game and I do not find myself disagreeing with much of what he passes along. I do agree with his stuff on bounce and we actually have an old school (vintage Chuck) video on the site where he talks about the importance of using the bounce in wedge play. If you look some of the greatest short game players of all time, you will see some variance in technique and also here different takes on what they believe to be their primary focus point. There are tons different theories on it and to me I think that a great short game is developed around feel, imagination and attitude. Of course, there is some technique as well and I will never discount that. I think once you get a student to understand what the primary mistakes are in their short game, you can then develop and mold their technique around ways to overcome the mistakes. Some students respond well to some early set of the wrists and rotation of the wrists during the move, some players respond better to more of the hinge and hold technique, some players even can make chipping with body flow work for them. My point is, some instructors teach a technique that is right down the middle when it comes to short game and generally appeals to large masses of people. I am one of those instructors that wants to be able to adapt to the students direct issues and help them overcome and refine short game with whatever technique is going to serve them best.
December 9, 2014
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peter
That seems right to me. I totally get that. Thanks for the education there. All the best,
December 10, 2014

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