In the long road back from the chip yips, I hit an important milestone yesterday; I chipped in. I’m not sure if the chip yips afflict you at 50, but I’ve been struggling around the green since I turned 51 in 2012, and yesterday’s lob wedge from a gnarly lie came as a huge relief. It’s been so long since I chipped in (years) I can’t remember the last time. In fact, it’s felt like years since I hit a good chip.
Late in 2015, I had been contemplating taking short game lessons but then during a December practice session, I made a mental change to my pre-shot routine and a technique change. The mechanics are weird and a little unconventional, but were born from a tip I read by Seve Ballesteros on controlling the shots with your right hand. I do believe the closer you get to the green, the more individualized your game can become, as long as you get the ball in the hole. So I will continue with this method and hopefully eradicate whatever had infected my short game.
Can I pronounce myself cured? Heck no, but I can feel the confidence returning. Yesterday, we played at Little Bennett. The greens were fast and the pins placed in diabolical positions with several bordering on unfair. Getting close to the hole with any club, including the putter was extremely difficult. In short, this was an awesome test for short game. Because of the pin placements, up-and-down stats were not a true reflection of performance so I rated my performance on chips/pitches that I hit like I wanted to. I was 5 for 9, but more importantly, I was able to rehearse the shots and execute without angst or feeling defensive.
It’s a rare day that you shoot a bad score and come away from the golf course feeling inspired. The rebuild is starting to work!
Play well and Happy Easter to all!