How a tube of toothpaste can benefit your short game

man holds tube of toothpaste

Poor chip shots around the green often results from too much grip pressure. To fix the issue, try practicing with a tube of toothpaste.

Adam Smith

Poor chip shots around the green are often a result of too much grip pressure and poor swing technique. Nerves take over when players approach the scoring zone and they often squeeze the club too tightly.

The key is to relax! Remind yourself to use soft grip pressure and try a putting stroke to ensure success when chipping around the greens.

I get my students to use a soft grip when they chip by holding the club with the same amount of grip pressure that they would use to hold a tube of toothpaste. Imagine squeezing just a little bit of toothpaste out onto the toothbrush using both hands with equal pressure. The softer the better. Too much grip pressure makes the player too tense and leads to a wristy, jerky chipping stroke. The result can be a blade or a chunk.

To execute clean, crisp shots around the green, your chipping stroke needs to be smooth, like your putting stroke. Here’s how.

man sets up to chip shot
Try using your putting stroke with a 7 iron around the greens. Adam Smith

Try chipping with a 7-iron. The loft is stronger than a wedge and this will keep the shot trajectory low. Set up like you are putting, stand with upright posture, and play the ball in the center of your stance Then, use your putting grip.

Apply soft grip pressure and swing the club back low to the ground, like a putting stroke. Swing the club back down and through, low to the ground. Don’t use any wrist action with this shot — remember, you’re using your putting stroke. Make your backswing and your follow through the same length, just like putting.

Trust your putting stroke technique and use soft grip pressure to easily execute chip shots around the green, and never hit an embarrassing blade or chunk again.

Adam Smith is a GOLF Teacher to Watch and is the Head Golf Instructor at The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, Va.

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