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Old Dec 12, 2006, 01:35 PM   #1
ethandelacroix
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Default How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Hi everyone... This is the part of my game that kills me every single round. I feel that when I hit my shots well and clean they all go where and how far I want them to go...

Now my big dilemma is that I duff alot of shots. Whether it's a 5 iron or the worse feeling is 100 yards from the pin and I have a sw or gw in my hand and I hit the biggest duff...

Now I do notice that I chunk alot later in the round, I guess it's because I'm getting tired. But I would still like some help on trying to really limit this part of my defficiency.

Alot of people tell me it's as easy as ball position, and that I should move my ball further back in my stance. I have tried that and still I chunk the ball.

Please help out... I already have tough putting woes and this just really kills me...

Thanks.

Miles
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 01:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethandelacroix
Hi everyone... This is the part of my game that kills me every single round. I feel that when I hit my shots well and clean they all go where and how far I want them to go...

Now my big dilemma is that I duff alot of shots. Whether it's a 5 iron or the worse feeling is 100 yards from the pin and I have a sw or gw in my hand and I hit the biggest duff...

Now I do notice that I chunk alot later in the round, I guess it's because I'm getting tired. But I would still like some help on trying to really limit this part of my defficiency.

Alot of people tell me it's as easy as ball position, and that I should move my ball further back in my stance. I have tried that and still I chunk the ball.

Please help out... I already have tough putting woes and this just really kills me...

Thanks.

Miles
Why don't you come to the range with us one weekend and we can take a look to see what the problem is.

Sometimes it's better to take that approach, rather than sit here weeding through 100 replies with advice that will certainly be sound, but won't help correct the real issue. It's probably best to have someone watch your swing and see what might be causing this....and yes, even hiting from matts will allow one to see your issue.

I personally think you've got a dipping problem....too much knee flex by the sounds of it.

In any case, we could hook up and hit the Launch or Markham Dome after the holidays....we could hit balls and watch swain eat a box of jube-jubes at the same time.
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 05:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethandelacroix
Hi everyone... This is the part of my game that kills me every single round. I feel that when I hit my shots well and clean they all go where and how far I want them to go...

Now my big dilemma is that I duff alot of shots. Whether it's a 5 iron or the worse feeling is 100 yards from the pin and I have a sw or gw in my hand and I hit the biggest duff...

Now I do notice that I chunk alot later in the round, I guess it's because I'm getting tired. But I would still like some help on trying to really limit this part of my defficiency.

Alot of people tell me it's as easy as ball position, and that I should move my ball further back in my stance. I have tried that and still I chunk the ball.

Please help out... I already have tough putting woes and this just really kills me...

Thanks.

Miles
Miles,
First and fore most like Racmbs said get someone to look at your swing. But in the interm here is some advice from Roger Gunn (former PGA palyer and Professional Golf Instructor)
Mule

With my students, I'll have them set up a ball for a reference. I'll then have them swing right next to that ball, until they can hit the ground, all the way to the dirt, after the ball. This can be very challenging for them at first! The general feeling is that they are surprised at how much the body has to be moved to accomplish this task. If they stay on their back foot, then this contact is not possible. When they can do it every time, they're ready for some shots. The real swing should feel the same.
I hope that helps!
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 07:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mule56
With my students, I'll have them set up a ball for a reference. I'll then have them swing right next to that ball, until they can hit the ground, all the way to the dirt, after the ball. This can be very challenging for them at first! The general feeling is that they are surprised at how much the body has to be moved to accomplish this task. If they stay on their back foot, then this contact is not possible. When they can do it every time, they're ready for some shots. http://www.golflevels.com/videos.php
interesting idea... I will try that!
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 04:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

The technical explaination of why you chunk or hit it fat is because your hands are releasing the club faster than your lower body is turning. Without seeing your swing it's impossilbe to dtermine why it is happening, but the reason why shots are chunked is because the hands are moving faster than the lower body. Concentrate on holding the club as long as you can, and not releasing the wrists until the very last second.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 05:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Hoganut,

I have had this problem and I think to a some degree I still do. Even though I've learned to hit down on my irons I still take only a tiny divot if any (even on short clubs). My question is: working with my pro, he told me that I should never consciously either release or hold on to the club. Either way it affects consistency. Other than the tip Mule offered, do you have any other advice on this front? Also curiosity of mine, if someone has poor flexibility (I would think that's the majority of us), how can one turn their body faster(than their hands)?
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 06:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogannut
The technical explaination of why you chunk or hit it fat is because your hands are releasing the club faster than your lower body is turning. Without seeing your swing it's impossilbe to dtermine why it is happening, but the reason why shots are chunked is because the hands are moving faster than the lower body. Concentrate on holding the club as long as you can, and not releasing the wrists until the very last second.
IMO hogan's got it here. A fat shot is induced when the downswing is started with the hands and then the body follows along, whereas the swing should start with the lower body.

Think of the downswing as a chain reaction of events:

1) it starts with an ever so slight drive of the back leg towards the target (not alot as a big movement of the legs will induce a slide);

2) next is the hip rotation;

3) and then the shoulder/chest rotation;

4) next are the arms;

5) then comes the hands and golf club.

When I'm at the range I visualize this - kind of like cracking a whip.

The other thing that is probably setting in is tension - to much tension/tight grip makes it difficult for the above to happen. Lighten your grip as it'll allow the bigger muscles greater movement.

This should be practiced at a range as opposed to working on this on the course.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 08:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbertha
Hoganut,

I have had this problem and I think to a some degree I still do. Even though I've learned to hit down on my irons I still take only a tiny divot if any (even on short clubs). My question is: working with my pro, he told me that I should never consciously either release or hold on to the club. Either way it affects consistency. Other than the tip Mule offered, do you have any other advice on this front? Also curiosity of mine, if someone has poor flexibility (I would think that's the majority of us), how can one turn their body faster(than their hands)?
I go by the rule of thumb that the hands should remain still at all times. They will naturally cock at the top of the swing and should release naturally at the correct point IF your downswing incoporates big muscle movement. In terms of keeping your body ahead of you hands I would recommend you trying to hit the ball hard using a 3/4 swing than trying to finese a full shot. If you are hitting a "knock down" shot try moving the ball back in you stance a wee bit and "HIT" the back of the ball HARD. Now you will have to have a bit more of a forward press with your hands on this shot to compensate for the ball position.

This shot takes some practice, but if done properly will result in a lower more boring ball flight that should spin like crazy, one hop and stop! Your divot should be larger than normal, BUT the divot STARTS at the back of the ball, not an inch behind it like what happens when you hit it fat.

l love hitting those 75 yard knock downs, and your plan should be to get it close and allow the opportunity for a 1 putt.
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 02:55 PM   #9
ethandelacroix
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Thank you everyone for your help. I do realize that this is such a sore spot for my game so thanks for the advice.

I was just talking to a golf instructor who saw my swing and what he told me was that what was happenining was that I started to crouch over the ball more than I should and that's why I was digging the club into the ground. He also said what alot of you have said which was that my hands sometimes are faster than my body...

So Rac I would like to go to Launch with all od you guys as soon as I pick up my hybrids form Swaain...

Thanks.

Miles
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Old Dec 13, 2006, 04:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

If your hands pass the ball before the clubhead on the downswing you will almost never chunk the ball..pretend you have a spatula in your right hand and you are going to flip a pancake over.....would you keep the spatula flat as you moved it towards the edge of the pancake? Or, would you tilt it? When you tilt the spatula check the position of the back of your wrist. Probably a little cocked just like at adress. Along with a very flat left wrist, this is how the hands must look at impact. The right wrist, for right handed golfers, must be in a slightly cocked position at impact. Practice this on your green side chips and slowly work into your full swing....remember, you wouldn't try flipping a pancake starting from parallel to the grill...you would come into the edge of the pancake at an angle..jj

Another reason for chunking iron shots is that, the right hand dominant person who plays golf right handed instinctively tries to square the club with the right hand on the downswing...ie. over the top...loss of lag angle, etc. The centrifical force of the downswing creates the weight of the clubhead to become somewhere in the 40lb range..or more depending on the speed of the downswing. It is impossible to hold the lag angle formed by the left arm and the club during this process....try holding anything that weighs even 25 lbs up in the air with your wrists supporting it...impossible...therfore the club gets thrown into the ground behind the ball....you must learn, as a so-called right handed golfer, how the left hand leads the clubhead into the ball...jj

Last edited by jjack; Dec 13, 2006 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Automerged posts
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 05:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogannut
I go by the rule of thumb that the hands should remain still at all times. They will naturally cock at the top of the swing and should release naturally at the correct point IF your downswing incoporates big muscle movement. In terms of keeping your body ahead of you hands I would recommend you trying to hit the ball hard using a 3/4 swing than trying to finese a full shot. If you are hitting a "knock down" shot try moving the ball back in you stance a wee bit and "HIT" the back of the ball HARD. Now you will have to have a bit more of a forward press with your hands on this shot to compensate for the ball position.

This shot takes some practice, but if done properly will result in a lower more boring ball flight that should spin like crazy, one hop and stop! Your divot should be larger than normal, BUT the divot STARTS at the back of the ball, not an inch behind it like what happens when you hit it fat.

l love hitting those 75 yard knock downs, and your plan should be to get it close and allow the opportunity for a 1 putt.
Just a side question. When you play a knock down, do you open your stance or do you play a normal square stance? Thanks.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 05:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by avidgolfer88
Just a side question. When you play a knock down, do you open your stance or do you play a normal square stance? Thanks.
I do not open my stance. Your feet, hips and shoulders should be pointing down the target line. I do however shut the face a bit a press my hand more forward to offset the ball position from the middle to back part of the stance.

In my opinion, the only time I open my stance is on flop shots around the green, or explosion bunker shots. If you watch the pro's play they really don't open their stance anymore than normal on 75-125 yard shots unless they are trying to bend the ball.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 06:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogannut
I do not open my stance. Your feet, hips and shoulders should be pointing down the target line. I do however shut the face a bit a press my hand more forward to offset the ball position from the middle to back part of the stance.

In my opinion, the only time I open my stance is on flop shots around the green, or explosion bunker shots. If you watch the pro's play they really don't open their stance anymore than normal on 75-125 yard shots unless they are trying to bend the ball.
Thanks hogannut for your opinion. I've been experimenting playing this shot with normal and open stances. I am still not sure what works better but... I am always listening for opinions.

All I know is that knockdown shots came really handy during September and October rounds.

I also notice that I've been hitting fat more in the fall. Probably due to the stiff back (caused by cold weather and many layers of clothing) causing more arm action than body turn. Hope it will disappear in the spring.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 07:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

A "knock down" shot is made with a shorter follow thru.

Chunking or skimming shots is usually because knees don't stay level.

Always take a practice swing and note where your club's leading edge touches the ground. Adjust your stance to get the best contact with the ground.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 04:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjack
If your hands pass the ball before the clubhead on the downswing you will almost never chunk the ball..pretend you have a spatula in your right hand and you are going to flip a pancake over.....would you keep the spatula flat as you moved it towards the edge of the pancake? Or, would you tilt it? When you tilt the spatula check the position of the back of your wrist. Probably a little cocked just like at adress. Along with a very flat left wrist, this is how the hands must look at impact. The right wrist, for right handed golfers, must be in a slightly cocked position at impact. Practice this on your green side chips and slowly work into your full swing....remember, you wouldn't try flipping a pancake starting from parallel to the grill...you would come into the edge of the pancake at an angle..jj

Another reason for chunking iron shots is that, the right hand dominant person who plays golf right handed instinctively tries to square the club with the right hand on the downswing...ie. over the top...loss of lag angle, etc. The centrifical force of the downswing creates the weight of the clubhead to become somewhere in the 40lb range..or more depending on the speed of the downswing. It is impossible to hold the lag angle formed by the left arm and the club during this process....try holding anything that weighs even 25 lbs up in the air with your wrists supporting it...impossible...therfore the club gets thrown into the ground behind the ball....you must learn, as a so-called right handed golfer, how the left hand leads the clubhead into the ball...jj
I think you're a instructional menace and need a disclaimer.
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 03:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethandelacroix
This is the part of my game that kills me every single round. I feel that when I hit my shots well and clean they all go where and how far I want them to go...
To me, the bolded part of the above is a clue as to why you hit fat shots. If you try to pick the ball CLEAN, you can easily hit it fat. Good shots result when you hit DOWN on the ball, taking a divot AFTER ball contact. Hitting down on the inside back of the ball allows you to retain the flex in the back of the right hand, which will cause the hands to be slightly ahead of the ball at impact.

Secondly, instead of YOU shifting your weight forward, an essential move, hitting down on the ball will GET your weight shifted. Playing the ball farther back in your stance does not really help because there is then NO NEED for the weight to get shifted, and you will still hit it fat. In fact, and AS A DRILL, play the ball farther forward, and this will FORCE you to move the lower body forward to be able to get to the ball.

Because you hit fat shots you now have a fear of hitting fat shots. To control this fear you need some success so I would suggest that you practice short chip shots until you hit the ball first and scuff the ground afterword. Then move on to short pitches, 50 yards shots and then to full swings.

Two similar teaching aids come to mind. Mark Evershed's "Power Click," http://www.markevershedgolf.com/inde...owse&pageid=33
and the "TacTic."
http://www.golfaroundtheworld.com/product_info.php?products_id=47&osCsid=dd50574b6c7 222020718e46ab847861d
Both are excellent.
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 04:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow
I would suggest that you practice short chip shots until you hit the ball first and scuff the ground afterword. Then move on to short pitches, 50 yards shots and then to full swings.
I started doing this in my short game near the end of the season and got very good results. Sometimes to help hitting down on the ball instead of picking it up into the air, I'd focus my eyes on a spot like an inch in front of the ball and pretend I was hitting to that.
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 04:57 AM   #18
ethandelacroix
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Thanks everyone for all your feedback. I will try a bunch of these tips as soon as I get a chance to go to Launch.

I will try to start of with chips and go to my longer clubs...

Yes Tour, I do always try and hit clean shots so I don't hit my shots fat. I tried before to hit more down on the ball and after a couple of shots I started hitting really fat.

I will try Wayland's train of thought which is think of hitting in front of the ball...

I'll give you all updates asap...

Thanks.

Miles
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 07:07 AM   #19
Shadow
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethandelacroix
I tried before to hit more down on the ball and after a couple of shots I started hitting really fat.
This is GOLF, where a couple of shots does not make a change. Try a couple of thousand.
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Old Dec 15, 2006, 11:12 AM   #20
punchcutdriver
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogannut
I go by the rule of thumb that the hands should remain still at all times. They will naturally cock at the top of the swing and should release naturally at the correct point IF your downswing incoporates big muscle movement. In terms of keeping your body ahead of you hands I would recommend you trying to hit the ball hard using a 3/4 swing than trying to finese a full shot. If you are hitting a "knock down" shot try moving the ball back in you stance a wee bit and "HIT" the back of the ball HARD. Now you will have to have a bit more of a forward press with your hands on this shot to compensate for the ball position.

This shot takes some practice, but if done properly will result in a lower more boring ball flight that should spin like crazy, one hop and stop! Your divot should be larger than normal, BUT the divot STARTS at the back of the ball, not an inch behind it like what happens when you hit it fat.

l love hitting those 75 yard knock downs, and your plan should be to get it close and allow the opportunity for a 1 putt.
Great advice and well described. I love the knockdown, especially downwind, I feel i can control distance better into a green. Funny thing though, If my knockdown shots are working great I hit regular shots a "hair" fat. I suspect that there is an adjustment or two I forget due to comfortablity addressing the ball. That or my softspikes have worn out.
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Old Jan 6, 2007, 09:00 PM   #21
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

First of all... get yourself on a plane and down to my neck of the woods. We'll take care of your chunky swing action once you get here.
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Old Aug 24, 2012, 12:58 PM   #22
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Default Re: How can I stop chunking with my irons???

BUT the divot STARTS at the back of the ball, not an inch behind it like what happens when you hit it fat.

I'd be happy with an inch behind, it's 6 inches that kill me. I've hit divots farther than the ball
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