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June 2014

The Dreaded Chili Dip: Yips for the Chips
By Jeff Summit

Some of the hardest shots in golf are often the shortest ones. If you or one of your customers has a tendency to chili dip, two-chip, flub, dub, stub, blade, etc. a short pitch or chip shot, you are not alone.

There are a number of causes like not having a forward press and creating excessive arm or wrist movement or deceleration through the impact zone. You might know how far the club propels the ball on a full shot with relative confidence and have no problems executing it. But what happens when that distance is only 20% or less that you have to carry the shot from regularly less than ideal conditions?

Root of the cause

Some of what causes the dreaded chili dip is swing fundamentals and in other cases it can be equipment related. For instance, if you take the club too far back, the likelihood of decelerating comes into play as your brain recognizes with normal acceleration and the ball would go too far. Too much of an abbreviated stroke and the ball will be helplessly short of where you want the ball to land. One of the culprits of tempo of the swing is the overall weight or balance of the club is not ideal to make those delicate little shots. Think of a yip, but with a club other than a putter.

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Solving the yips on the green is typically solved by using a heavier overall weight putter, one where the head is heavier or even counterbalanced. In other cases, a larger grip can take the wrists out of the equation and work as a counterweight as well. Chili dips, double hits and the other maladies for short pitch and chip shots can be possibly helped by these same things and it varies per person. What works for one person, make not be the same for the next.

Too much of a good thing

If you experiment with adding weight to the head, counterbalancing or increasing grip size and you find that helps, you might ask “Will adding yet more weight or making the grip even bigger help more?” Well, the answer to that is there is an optimal limit for each and every person and beyond will start to make matters worse. All it takes is a little time and experimentation to see what helps the best.

Every golfer needs to have that “go-to” club in the bag that can carry the ball reliable only a short distance from a variety of lies. It could be a higher lofted wedge, mid or short iron, hybrid or fairway wood (if close enough to the green) or chipper depending on if it is a bump and run or forced carry- it really doesn’t matter. Make sure you can practice that shot routinely. If you have a hard time with that portion of the game, consult a local club fitter or teaching professional.

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