Get ‘Chippy’ To Settle Those Nerves

Create a tension-free swing, even under pressure

 Get ‘Chippy’ To Settle Those Nerves
How to become aware of tension in your face at address and throughout the swing? Try my tasty and trusty potato chip drill.

Tension is the enemy of every golfer, at every level. It causes muscles to constrict, which prohibits the body from moving in that nice, flowing fashion throughout the swing. Being able to identify where one holds tension, and how it affects the golf swing, is a powerful tool.

 Get ‘Chippy’ To Settle Those Nerves

Generally tension seems to stem from two particular areas — the arms and the face. If a player can practice identifying tension, he or she will be able to deal with it more efficiently on the golf course.

 Get ‘Chippy’ To Settle Those Nerves

Put a potato chip (I prefer Pringles) in between your lips at address and continue to keep it there through the shot. If you create the slightest bit of tension throughout the swing, you’ll break the chip; if you’re able to maintain relaxed muscles, you’ll successfully hit the shot without breaking the chip.

 Get ‘Chippy’ To Settle Those Nerves

This drill has immediate benefits. It creates a tension-free swing and allows players to repeat motions successfully, even under pressure situations. Typically, pressure can fill a player with doubt, anxiety and worry, which leads to clenching muscles and “forcing” moves.

 Get ‘Chippy’ To Settle Those Nerves

Getting a handle on when and where unhelpful muscular tension starts is very powerful for the golfer. By being aware, the player can employ deep breathing or other mental techniques to calm emotions and decrease tension.

Alison Curdt is a Master Professional and Director of Instruction at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, California. She is also a contributor to the Golf Channel’s SwingFix. For more information, visit


Photo by Russell Kirk/GolfLinks Photography


Dave Stockton teaches it … Jack Nicklaus used it. Enough said. Spot Putting is a great way to sink more putts.

Spot Putting involves picking a spot 2-3 inches in front of your ball on your putting target line … and looking at that spot and rolling the ball over that spot as you putt.

Very effective inside 10 feet. Rather than looking at the ball, spot putting is an effective way to make those score saving putts. This tip helps 100% of putters.

By Barry Goldstein, PGA Inverrary Country Club, Lauderhill, Florida

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