Phil Mickelson: Here's how to stop blading chip shots

Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

The short game is where strokes are saved — and where you can really separate yourself from your competition. You don’t have to be the best tee-to-green if you’re handy with a wedge and putter in your hands.

Despite the importance of a great short game for elite play, lots of recreational players don’t devote ample practice time to the craft. Instead, they park themselves on the range and wail away with the big stick. If you want to become a great player, though, you’ll have to become a solid wedge player.

One of the all-time greats with a wedge in hand is none other than Phil Mickelson. The six-time major winner has been a must-see player throughout his entire career, but when he gets a wedge in hand is when his wizardry really shines.

In a recent video posted on X, Mickelson shared a valuable secret to his followers: how to stop blading chip shots for good. Check it out below.

How to stop blading chips

There are many ways to screw up a chip shot, but one of the most common is the dreaded bladed chip, when the leading edge hits the ball and sends it screaming across the green. It’s not only an embarrassing miss, but a costly one, too. Often times after a bladed chip, your next shot will be longer than your initial one.

A bladed chip is typically caused by poor fundamentals. When swinging the clubhead through the hitting zone, golfers will let the clubhead get in front of their hands and send the leading edge into the ball. In order to guard against this, Mickelson suggests focusing on one key.

“We want hand speed, not clubhead speed,” Mickelson says. “When you keep your hands accelerating, it keeps the angle of the leading edge and the bounce consistent longer through the shot.”

Another way to put it: you want your hands to stay in front of the clubhead through impact. The way to do this? Focus on hand speed instead of clubhead speed.

Simple and effective — straight from the mouth of one of the greatest wedge players of all time.

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