I had another great lesson with Joel from Kent Chase Golf Academy. It started out kind of rough...we found out the driving range closed right when I got there. So, luckily they have a short game area and we were able to hit chip shots and 100 yd approach shots.
This was a little confusing because Joel promotes bending the elbows on the back swing and forward swing, but I had been taught the chip was more like a putting stroke, where I usually keep my elbows at a fixed position.
Also, Joel wanted me to sweep the ball instead of having a steep angle of attack. I have always been taught to come in steeply at the ball in a chip shot. In fact, I have seen drills where you place a ball behind the one you're trying to hit to promote a steep descent.
He also told me to center the ball in my stance...again, I have been taught to have the ball a little back in my stance.
100 yd approach:
This part was great because I love approach shots. I love hitting the green more than anything else. A great drive is also nice, but something about hitting the green excites me even more.
Joel showed me this simple drill that really helps my approach shots. Take a practice swing and only remember 3 positions.
1) Take away - make sure the club head is in front of you (the hands). Butt of club should be pointing at your belt buckle.
2) Top of back swing - have some width, left arm fairly straight, right arm bent, shaft on plane (that's hard to see, but maybe if I make sure the butt of the club is pointing at the target line.)
3) Swing through to finish - finish can be many different levels, knockdown finish, controlled finish, or full finish (I'm sure there's more). Practice this finish on the practice swing and copy it on the full swing.
Performing these three positions during my practice swing helped a lot. Also, Joel pointed out that my right ankle rolls on my back swing, so to fix that, I placed a club parallel to the target line with the club head by my right foot. I place my foot on it and it keeps my weight on the inside of my right foot instead of the outside.
By the end of the practice I was hitting a lot of 100 yd, 80 yd, and 60 yd shots into the green. Now if I can just nail my driver to put me at those distances...and in the fairway!