Brett Rumford: How to be a better chipper

Brett Rumford1

Understanding bounce

There are a few ingredients that make a good chipper. Understanding the bounce is key - it’s not really technical but it’s important.

The UK has such varying conditions. A lot of courses are clay-based so you go from a lot of rain in the winter and everything’s very soft and soggy around the greens but, in a few days, that same ground can dry out and turn into cement.

You need to understand bounce and change it relative to the conditions

- Brett Rumford

You need to understand bounce and change it relative to the conditions. When it starts to get firm during the summer months, you really need to go to more like four degrees and less.

Through the winter, you need to be going to eight plus because the same action at contact will, give or take a few degrees, be the difference between leaving the ball three feet in front of you, putting it close, or putting it over the back of the green.

I play with a lot of juniors at Wentworth and their golf shots aren’t too bad but they just don’t understand bounce and the issues that arise from having too much or too little.

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Brett Rumford

Use your head

I think the height at which your head must stay - keeping your head down and all that stuff - is a bit of nonsense because you really need your head and height to come up through the golf shot as your body pivots. But that’s if you’re using your body correctly.

It’s very important not to get too stiff and too rigid with the movement on the way past the ball because you have to throw the club back to where the club starts at address. You want to try and feel as though the club is returning back to the same position in terms of its shaft position and you don’t want to get too much forward lean.

From that point, from impact, that’s when your body wants to start moving. So you want to use your pelvis, get your height up, and basically your head can follow the head of the club.

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Brett Rumford2

Your head can release with the clubhead - then your body - and you can get everything out of the golf shot, which will stop you from throwing your arms at it. You want to try and feel as though you are throwing the club back down into the turf as your body is coming up and releasing.

With this shot, and everyone does it, all of a sudden you get to the fringe of the green and it’s like you’ve got no legs all of a sudden and you’re just trying to hit it with their arms... all the while trying to keep your head down. That makes you static, which gets you into a few more bad habits.

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