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Instructor Profile: Bob Knee

Book Bob Knee

Bob has been teaching for Kip at the AGA since 1995. He graduated from UCSD in ’91 and was an All American for the UCSD Golf Team. Bob currently is working with 2011 Women’s US Open Champion So Yeon Ryu, the 2012 Korean National Team, PGA Tour player and 2004 Ryder Cup player Chris Riley. He also works with 2011 NCAA Women’s Championship Team UCLA player Ani Gulugian, as well as college players at Northwestern, UOP, LMU, William and Mary, Cal to mention a few. Bob has a passion for the game and is a master instructor in the areas of full swing, short game and strong with the mental side of golf. As a player, Bob competed on the Golden State and Canadian Tours, played in the PGA Buick Invitational, and won the city Championships in Coronado and Costa Mesa. Bob still competes and was a member of the 2011 Century Club Team for the San Diego Chapter of the PGA. Bob has been a member of the PGA since 2002.

Low Scores Are a Chip Away, by Bob Knee

I have been teaching and playing golf for the past twenty-five years and every player I have come across wants lower scores. The short game is 60% of your total score and I still see too many people spending too much practice time on their full swing. Becoming a good chipper is one way to lower your scores quickly.

A chip is a shot that typically happens close to the green. A player will use a one-lever, putting style motion to chip. You can use a variety of clubs (6iron to SW) to chip depending on the amount of roll you want the ball to have in a particular situation. The old saying of minimize the air time and maximize the time the ball spends on the ground is a great strategy to use.

There are multiple chipping styles but they tend to have the same key fundamentals involved. To chip well a player needs to have 70% or more of their weight on their front foot.(left foot for the right-handed player) The weight should be on the left foot at address by moving you chest and upper body slightly forward, which helps to keep your shoulders more level. This also helps to put the bottom of your swing arc to the target side of the ball, a necessity for solid contact. The ball needs to be positioned on the inside of your right (back) foot. The shaft of the club will be forward of the clubhead at address and should stay that way throughout the motion. A lot of great players prefer to use their putting grip to chip which allows for a softer roll of the ball. You should try both your regular full swing grip and putting grip to see which suits you best.

Whenever you are hitting short game shots distance control is very important. One way to become more proficient with distance is to practice with 2 or 3 clubs ( 7iron, 9iron, SW), pick a landing area on the green, and use these clubs to understand the difference in the distance of roll of the ball with each club. Another good drill for chipping to avoid the problem of scooping or lifting the ball is to place a towel 3-4 inches behind the ball and to hit shots without striking the towel. This will help to create a slight descending blow and the club will bottom out in front of the ball for more solid contact.

Use these drills and techniques and you too can chip your way to lower scores.

A Practice Tip

Golfers tend to find that it is difficult to play on uneven lies on the course because on the range players do not experience the same situation. To negotiate uneven lies you need to remember a couple of key ingredients; Try to match your hips and shoulders with the slope (i.e., parallel to the ground), maintain good posture and allow your weight to travel towards the target. If the ball is above your feet for the right handed golfer the ball will travel right to left and vice versa for when the ball is below your feet. The trajectory of the ball will go higher for uphill and lower for down hill lies. Have fun and play well.

Golf Digest Best Teachers California 2022-2023
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