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Don't let anybody boo your chip shots.

Byline: By Tim Taylor

Chip shots are a familiar subject to readers of the Teeing off column and the American Tour pro, Boo Weekley, will be pleased with a couple of his efforts this week.

Weekley pitched in from off the green at each of the last two holes to land his first Tour win in the Heritage at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

So how can you improve your chip shots? For a start, rhythm is important in pitching.

You need a nice "feel" in the shot and the best place to have that is in the rotation of the arms. It is with the arms that you judge the distance.

If you were throwing the ball a long way you would use your shoulders to uncoil and rotate the throwing action.

If you are trying to land the ball in a more specific area, as you are with a pitch, you use your arms more for the feel.

I sometimes practice throwing a golf ball onto a landing area before I play some pitches to help me create the feel I need.

Another good idea ( if you have a practice pitching green with different flags on it ( is to practice using the various clubs you need to pitch and run the ball up to various flags.

Don't forget you repeat the act of rotation from your normal golf swing with a pitch shot. You don't try to use the same club and use a different technique. It's a short long shot.

You only change the club. That is the route to finding consistency and distance control around the greens.

Talking of Boo Weekley, just the mention of his name adds extra fun to sport.

As ever when he plays a good shot on and around the greens, the Heritage galleries were cheering him on by shouting "Boo . . . Boo" on those last two holes!

* IF you have a major golf fault, describe it to Dr John ( alias Matfen Hall Director of Coaching John Harrison ( in two or three short sentences.

Then either email dr.john@ncjmedia.co.uk or write to Dr John's Golf Clinic, c/o Sports Desk, The Journal, Groat Market, Newcastle NE1 1ED.

Every query will be treated as anonymous but will only be answered individually if it does not appear in the paper.

If you want to get in touch with the Matfen Hall Academy, ring (01661) 886146.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 19, 2007
Words:404
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