Tip Tuesday: Using an Alignment Rod to Practice Hitting Better Chip Shots

If you can’t hit it slower and shorter, it’s harder to do so longer and faster. Scott Devaux of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy at True Blue Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C. joins us in this video to demonstrate how training with an alignment rod can help reinforce this point as you practice your short shots around the green.



Scott Devaux:

Hey. This is Scott Devaux from the Steve Dresser Golf Academy, and we’re going to talk a little bit about chipping today and a common thing that most people do when they chip. The idea is that the short swings carry over to long swings, so what you do in your short shots carries over to what you do in your long shot. I’m a big believer in if you can do it short and slow, it’s easier to do it longer and faster. If you can’t do it shorter and slower, it’s harder to do it longer and faster. If we can do these short shots here, so what we have is a chip shot set up, and we’re going to go to the hole right through the alignment rod here.

Here’s what I see a lot of what people are doing. If I just put the ball right in front of the alignment rod, I see a lot of people bringing the club back low and inside, which is what they do in their full swing. Then what you have to do on the down swing is either come here and you’re going to hit the ground, or you’re going to come over the top, even in a short swing. If we can actually get these short shots where we feel like we’re a little more straight back, then we can actually hit a descending blow. The key is to keep our chest turning through these shots. We always want to keep our chest turning. If we’re hitting this shot, I want to finish with my chest turning towards the target. That way, I don’t have to use my hands.

One of the drills that I like to do is I just have people hover the club over the alignment rod. When I ask people to take the club back, a lot of people will go this way, and they’ll go way inside and way low. If I ask people to just take it back just straight as you can, once we get in good posture, most people will take it back. If they think they go straight back, it goes a little inside of the alignment rod, and so if we go straight back and feel like we’re straight back, goes a little inside the alignment rod. It goes a little higher in the air. That’s going to help us descend on the ball slightly and we always want a little descending blow into these shots.

If I go back low and inside, I’ve got a hard time to get back with a descending blow, so I like to put the alignment rod right here. We feel like we’re going straight back. We turn our chest towards the target and I guess that was consistent right there. That’s kind of the idea is we always want to feel like we’re going. Once we get good posture and good setup, we want to try to get our club to go straight back and feel like it’s a little closed, instead of what most people do is inside and open.