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To hinge, or not to hinge, that is the question:

Whether 'tis better in the mind to not worry.

Surely it's better to hinge. Phil Mickleson says any coach that tells you to quieten the wrist with your short game shots is crazy and you should stay well clear of them.

But, hang on a minute. Steve Stricker has been consistently the sharpest shooter on the PGA tour for the past five years or so. He doesn't appear to use his wrist much at all. Let's watch the video below and see what he has to say.

Given two guys with unquestionably great short games have almost polar opposite thoughts on how to play chips and pitches, I'm leaning towards 'tis better in the mind to not worry about wrist hinge'.

Let's look a little closer to see what these guys do in common and maybe we might find an awesome short game concept that will work for everyone.



From a technique perspective, Phil and Steve both move their arms and chest together. Or to put it another way, their arms and chest move at the same pace and their arms stay in front of their chest throughout the shot.

Drill - Synchronise your arms and body

Grab a towel and pop it under both arm pits and hit some chip and pitch shots. Focus on turning your chest back and through, and moving your arms and body at the same pace.


On the mental side of things, the first thing that jumps out at me is that they both have confidence in what they're doing. Believing in your self is more important than believing in a certain technique. The belief they have allows them to trust their technique and narrow their focus in on the target. They get greedy for the bottom of the hole.

Practice - Get greedy for the bottom of the hole

Transfer your improved technique into better scores by finishing your short game practice session by challenging yourself to hole a shot. Don't leave until you've drained one.


Taking it to the course - Plan and Focus

Plan your shot:

  • Where do you want the ball to land?

  • What trajectory do you want for the flight of the ball?

  • What will the shot feel like?

  • What is going to be your focus during the execution of the shot?

Execute the shot:

Have one simple focus of your choice. What you focus on isn't that important as long as it is only one thing and it is simple and easy to execute.

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