LESSONS FROM ROB

Welcome to our Instruction page! We hope Rob's articles help you to improve your game. For further demonstrations, please view our videos and if you have questions, please ask us in "Q and Akins Answers"! We look forward to updating our Instruction page with featured swing and game improvement tips so check back often!













 Featured Swing Improvement Tip: 
THE CHIP SHOT


 Forget the one-foot putt for a second as the simplest shot in golf. Discounting the putter, the greenside chip shot is the simplest motion in golf. It doesn’t take a lot of moving parts, and the swing is short. Simplest doesn’t mean it’s the easiest. You may be having trouble with this shot, as a lot of golfers do. I’m going to make it simpler.

The chip is defined as a low, running shot, whereas a pitch is defined by more air time. The chip is the introduction to hitting a lofted iron. The manufacturer gave you a club that gets the ball airborne by the way it is designed as long as you hit the ball solidly.

So that becomes our first goal in chipping: Hit it solidly. With that in mind we are going to get the arc of our swing to hit on or past the spot where the ball sits.

All the essentials of chipping make sense if you keep hitting the ball solidly in mind. The weight should be leaning toward the left foot, the hands are slightly forward, and the ball is just back of the middle. These setup factors all encourage a solid shot. I keep mentioning solid because that is a must before you can have distance control.

In the swing, let the club make an arc going back. Don’t keep the club too low or pick it up too sharply. On the forward swing, you want to avoid the most common fault in golf: the “scoop.” Make sure to bump the ball with the hands leaning slightly forward.

Now, I’d like to offer you a couple of drills that focus your attention on touch and feel.

Drills for Touch and Feel

Chip It In
Find a spot on the fringe 6-10 feet from the hole. Chip with the attitude that you are going to chip it in. Start to move farther away while maintaining the goal of holing it. This focus will increase your confidence and your results.

Ping Pong Ball
You can use this drill inside. Hit chip shots with a ping pong ball. Notice how hitting slightly down makes the ball go up and puts some spin on the ball. Be creative and take what you learn to the real ball. I have all my juniors and many of my adult players use this drill indoors.
This drill teaches my players touch, the effects of spin and imagination. It also helps you develop your intuition when chipping — that’s critically important.
I used to chip ping pong balls onto my dining room table at home and try to get them to stay there. It’s a fun, competitive little game to play with a partner, and one that really helps you learn to shape your shots.
And while you’ve got the ping pong balls out, experiment with them. See what it takes to make them curve. Hit draws and fades. You can easily pick up little habits to take with you to the course.

One Ball’s Difference
Throw a sleeve of three balls onto the ground, and line them up facing the hole, one right next to the other. Line up as if the middle ball is normal ball position. Playing the ball that’s farthest back will give you a lower shot with more run if you need it. Playing the forward ball will give you a slightly higher shot that will not run as much.

Rob’s Rules for Great Chipping

1) Land it on the green.

2) Land it as close to you as possible.

3) Land it on a flat spot.

   

 


Giving my chipping the X Factor...

Fortunately this is not a story about high waisted trousers and irritating Irishmen. It is a story about a little tip I found that has revolutionised my chipping. At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never chip the ball by the holes side. I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself, but I grew strong and I learned how to get along....err right..erm yes well anyway at first I was a bit rubbish at chipping.
I had a lesson and things got a little better, then they got a little worse. My club selection was crazy, taking far too much loft far too often. 
Then Golf Monthly sent a couple of intrepid golfers off to a Wilson fitting and Padraig Harrington gave them both a little chipping masterclass. The key lesson that stuck in my mind was placing almost all my weight on my left side. 

Since then my chipping has got much better but I still occasionally duff a few or chip too hard with no check and run away from the hole. Then this month's Golf World had the answer to my prayers. A little bit of guidance from Rob Akins, coach to David Toms. He states that "most amateurs ahave been told to lean towards the target at address and maintain that position through impact". I'm reading this thinking my god 'that's me' and wondering why this is so bad as since I've started doing that my contact has been much better. 
Akins continues stating that not only does this deloft the club too much (he's bang on the money there) but also that "the club's leading edge can easily get stuck in the turf". Rob you've just described every problem I have with my chipping, you have my undivided attention please continue. 



Featured Swing Improvement Tip:
SPINE-TILT-THRUST


The Swing of the Future
I guarantee this technique will make your shots longer and straighter that they are now...

 Most instructors will tell you the swing of the new golfer-athlete is one that synchronizes the swinging of the hands and arms with the turning motion of the body.

That's all fine and good. But after years of studying the swing, I've found one more critical element. I call it the spine-tilt thrust, and it happens right at impact. I'm convinced that adding this move to the arm swing and body turn will help you hit the ball consistently straight and far--especially under pressure.

To say that power in the golf swing comes from generating clubhead speed by swinging faster tells only part of the story. The other part--and to me, the most important--is knowing how to apply the mass of your body to the hit. Put another way: Which would you rather be struck by, a Ping Pong ball traveling 200 miles per hour or a bowling ball traveling 20 mph? Your driver weighs less than a pound. If it strikes the golf ball by itself, that ball isn't going anywhere. But if you get your body behind the hit, you have a driver that can weigh as much as you do. The spine-tilt thrust not only helps you effectively apply your body weight to your driver at impact, it will allow you to multiply that weight.

I'll show you how to combine the elements needed for a powerful and accurate swing. We'll start with the backswing, move onto the downswing and finish with the good stuff: the spine-tilt thrust at impact. You will no longer have to worry about manipulating your hands to square the face at impact, nor will you have to swing out of your shoes to hit the ball farther. And when the match is on the line, you can be assured that this golf swing holds up.