After a brief res-pet from blogging for a trip to see the Grand kids in San Diego back with another in a series of instructional conflicts. Yes, I am going to comment briefly on the Lexi Thompson incident. This blog is going to concern itself with chipping. The two points of view. You should chip like you putt, or you should not chip like you putt. First we need to define a chip, which to some, has changed. In Utley’s book on the short game he has his own definition of a chip, which I am going to ignore. My definition is that a chip is a shot with little or no wrist action. In other words,the chip has nothing to do with distance. You could chip a ball 5 yards or you can chip it 40 yards or longer. A pitch by my definition is a shot where the wrists will cock from 45 to 90 degrees. Again you could pitch a ball 5 yards or you can pitch it 40 yards or longer. This post is going to discuss only chipping
The first view point is, you should chip like you putt. Since there is little wrist action in both chipping and putting this would seem to make a lot of sense. However, the clubs, ranging from anywhere from a 4 iron to a lob wedge, that are used for chipping, have nothing in common, in design, with the putter. There is going to be some adjustments, you are going to have to make. The first, you must make sure the bottom edge of the club is square. This will put your hands ahead of the club, sometimes as much as 6 inches if you are using the lob wedge. A lot of instructors advocate using the same grip you use for putting, to execute these shots. The weight should be on the left foot a little more. Even though you are using your putting stroke to execute these shots, they still must be hit with a descending blow and not swept along the ground. You must have a good lie to execute a chip. With any method you can not chip from the rough with the ball down a little in the grass.
Some instructors feel you should not chip like you putt. The leaders in this group are Phil Mickelson and Stan Utley. Mickelson has his hinge and hold method and Utley tries to get his hands leading the club head on his chips to deloft the club. You can read or watch their videos to get more details on their respective methods. There are other instructors who have a more handsy approach to chipping.
Now to the Lexi Thompson debacle. The one thing that has got lost in the shuffle is the second penalty that was accessed for the incorrect scorecard. She may have been done in by the new rule change this year on signing for a lower score than you actually made. The LPGA should have never assessed her that 2 stroke penalty, and they had the perfect precedent of the Tiger Woods incident 2 or 3 years ago at the Masters. After Tiger’s ball hit the pin and went into the water on 15, he dropped the ball in an improper spot. The next day he was charged a two stroke penalty, but was not disqualified for the incorrect score card on the technicality that at the time he signed it, the score was correct. If the disqualification rule would have still been in effect this year, do you think the LPGA would have walked up on that tee box and disqualified Lexi Thompson, no way. I am sure the Tiger incident would have been cited. Because now it is a 2 stroke penalty, they in my view went ahead and penalized her those 2 strokes incorrectly. Technically, and its all technicalities, she signed a correct score card when she signed it, just like Tiger Woods. Obviously with only a 2 stroke penalty she would have won the tournament out right and there would have been no play off. Shame on you LPGA.