Chip Shot – A Plan

“Just a chip and a putt” – it sounds so easy. But in a blink of an eye, it’s a chip and a putt and another putt. Or a chip and a chip and a putt and a putt and oh, another putt. You see where I’m headed – the downward slope to a hellish score. All because of a simple shot, done poorly.

My friend chips with great technique and consistent results. I want what she’s having.

And so, a goal – become a better chipper this summer. The stroke itself is so simple – see Sandy’s video here. With those visuals and a 6-step plan, I’m off to pursue a ship shape chip shot. I think there are at least 4 strokes waiting to leave my life.

  1. Know the basic mechanics cold. Take a lesson, watch a video, do it again.
  2. Practice. Boring? Bring it home. Chip to a laundry basket in the backyard.
    Grab a friend and play closest to the basket. Wine can help.
  3. Track chips. Mark hole with a check when a chip shot lands on green in satisfactory distance/placement to the pin, and with an X when it’s a miss. Compare shots over several rounds to get an idea of how chipping affects score – and to see improvement over time.
  4. Get to course early and groove your chip shot.
  5. Feel the pre-shot swoosh. In the rough, run the club head through the grass several times to get the feel of it before setting up for the shot.
  6. Putt! Golf isn’t a game of givens; creativity is often rewarded. On the fairway just short of the green? Don’t automatically reach for the lob wedge. Is a putt a better percentage shot than a chip? Sometimes, yes.

“A chip and a putt” – that’s what I’m going for.

Master Mentor – Gayle Champagne

Gayle Champagne, centerGayle Champagne started playing golf to avoid answering the phone.  On Friday afternoons the guys at the ad agency would ask, “Gayle, would you cover my calls?” as they headed for the course with a client. Pretty soon Gayle was out there too.  (That’s Gayle sitting between Carolin Dick and me).
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She REALLY took to the sport, organizing trips up north for dozens of women at a time, landing a job at Golf For Women magazine, becoming an expert on the pleasures and perils of business golf.  She’s been involved with the American Junior Golf Association for 16 years and is currently President of the Board of Directors of that national nonprofit. That’s in addition to her full time job at Self Magazine! This is a woman who gives to golf!
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I met Gayle the year I started playing golf – before I had golf shoes OR a golf swing.  She hit a ball 90 yards over a little patch of wetland and I thought she was a golf goddess.  What really stuck with me though, was the way she inspired a new player, with just the right blend of humor and helpfulness.  I so appreciated the time she spent with me.

Whenever I play with Gayle I get inspired.  So with summer on the wane, I’ve made a pledge – to get out there and play with some new golfers, to pass on those good golf feelings.
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Once again, Gayle, thanks!