At the moment there is this constant talk around the short game that we all should be using the bounce when we chip. Teaching players to use the bounce at all cost almost, with somewhat of a disregard to what the most efficient technique should involve.
A great chipping technique should support a great full swing, by basically being a shorter version of the full swing.
We must remember that the bounce is only used, or only comes into play out of poor lies or bunkers. It is there to aid you only when it is required, and it becomes a part of the shot as a result of good technique or how you set the club up.
And so, when we start searching for the bounce in all of our chips we run the risk of harming our long game, as a chipping action that always looks for the bounce will slowly develop you into having a very hand dominant motion. Which as we all know is not something we want in our long game.
Are we forgetting that the leading edge is named like this for a reason, it needs to lead, and the bounce always follows. (but isn’t always required)
The list of great chippers or great short game players that do not drive the ball well, or have a weak long game’s is a pretty obvious list. Phil Mickleson, Luke Donald and even the European Tour’s most recent winner Brett Rumford. These guys have great short games but constantly struggle with their long game accuracy.
As you will see in the highlights real from Rumford’s victory, most of his highlights were recovery shots and wedge shots. Similar to that of Mickelson’s highlights week in week out.
The short games of the best players in the world are regularly overlooked, because they are also the best ball strikers in the world. But the thing we should notice the most is how all of the best players in the world have short games that match their full swings. From Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, who move the club similarly in their chips, to Henrik Stenson who is a very underrated chipper. And then of course there is Jason Day who is of course a great scrambler.
They all have different motions, but chip great, and have moves that compliment their long games. It makes practice much easier if you can work on your short game and be aiding your full swing. And none of them are bounce obsessed, if anything its strike obsessed.
And, all of of this is without mentioning the added time that it takes to maintain a bounce obsessed technique/handsy technique.