Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 576 - Wed. September 25th, 2019
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


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Tom's Featured Tip: Toe Down Chipping
Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
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Tom's Featured Tip: Toe Down Chipping

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

I think that you are going to find todays tip to be short but very sweet if you give it a try.

It's about an alternate way to set up and execute short chip shots that's been used by some touring pro's that had deft touch around the greens when they were in their prime: Paul Azinger, Ray Floyd, and Dave Stockton to name a few. I think Steve Stricker uses it too.

I teach my heirarchy of shot selection for ball that are just off the green as follows:
  1. Putt
  2. Chip (ball that rolls more than it flies)
  3. Pitch (ball that fies more than a chip shot)
  4. Flop (highest trajectory of all, use only when absolutly necessary, it's the toughest shot to master)
I've been thinking about a different chipping technique than my normal choice for about six months now, and I'll probably put it in play for the rest of this season to see how it works.

I finally got my "shoot my age goal" for this birth year out of the way last Saturday, so I can experiment a little. I was sweating it out because I turn 73 in October, and I have a "shoot my age streak" going since age 68, but my trusty old two ball putter got red hot and I got 'er done.

The technique that has me curious is basically the same technique that I use when I'm putting with my hybrid: crowding the ball a little bit and setting up with the toe down so that the heel of the club is less likely to strike the ground before the sole of the club.

It's going to require some reps to nail down:
  • how much I want the face down and the heel up
  • alignment
  • ball position
  • and effective distance for this shot, which will fly less and check less than a traditional chip shot method
I think it will be worth the effort because it virtually eliminates chunks due to premature heel contact with the ground that destroy your direction and strike contact.

I'm thinking that it will be vastly superior from the first cut of rough off the green. I have a son that swears by it for longer pitch shots, but I'm not quite there yet. Maybe in time if the shorter shots pan out.

It's basically a toe down, heel up setup with a putting stroke technique. Pretty simple concept, and I really like the thought of eliminating heel and hosel grabs from surrounding grass.

Here's how I plan on setting up and up and executing this modified chipping technique:
  1. Crowd the ball

  2. Raise the heel of the club up and lower the toe, experiment with degrees of up and down

  3. Ball position - middle will be my default for now, a bit further forward from longer grass

  4. Club selection - good lie, Gap Wedge, PW, 9,8, depending on the roll out desired

  5. Club selection - poor lie, more loft - maybe even more of a pitch shot swing with a normal grip

  6. Narrow stance as usual

  7. Very slight forward press for a small amount of shaft lean

  8. Choke down a bit for control

  9. Use a putting stroke, with or without your putting grip - exeriment with both

  10. As with a putting stroke, arms and shoulders, very minimal body rotation. This is the big change for me.

  11. Don't allow your wrists to break down (flip) through impact
As I've said many times before, golf is a game of discovery, so I'm going to try and discover if there's a use for this technique in my game.

How about you? It might be worth a try.


Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


Golf Lessons

I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there's a link for Plum Creek info here:

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or email me at
for more information.

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:

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Click here to buy this swing speed training aid and increase your distance off the tee. I bought the Coaches set and I love them. Browse their site for great FREE swing speed training outlines and great FREE webinars on demand. Buying through my affiliate also helps support this free newsletter. Try 'em, you'll like them.

Plum Creek Driving Range and Simulator  Outdoor range and play indoor golf on any of our 40 Simulator Courses. Call 585-993-0930 or email Mark at to reserve time for simulator play or practice!

Batavia Country Club   (585) 343-7600
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Tee times online or by phone in season.
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Chestnut Hill Country Club   (585)-547-3613
Only minutes from Buffalo, open to the public.
Tee times online or by phone in season.

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Pro, Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection!"
~ Ben Hogan