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McCleery Tip: Thinking of your swing as a clock can help.

You’ve put yourself in nice position, pin-high just off the green. It seems like such an easy up and down with only a nice, little chip standing in the way between you and par.

You take a couple of clean practice swipes and then step to your ball. You take your club back just a bit, make your move, strike the ball and watch as the ball either trickles toward the green well short of its intended target or blows past the hole.

Most amateur golfers know this horrid feeling. Heck, it even happens to the greatest golfers in the game’s history.

“Most of the amateurs anymore, when they’re chipping they don’t finish their shots,” says Dan McCleery, an assistant professional at Black Butte Ranch. “They have a tendency to stab and to stop.”

Such a chip can have disastrous effects. But the fix is not particularly difficult, boiling down to keeping your weight forward and finishing the swing.

To do this, McCleery suggests viewing your swing for a chip as an analogue clock where address is 6:00. Then match the length of the chip with the takeaway and finish.

For instance, “If you have a longer shot, then you may want to do an 8:00 takeaway and a 3:00 finish,” McCleery advises.

The key then becomes repetition.

“You can work with your swings until you start understanding exactly how far you hit,” McCleery says.

The idea is to take away the uncertainty of each chip, boosting confidence and increasing the likelihood of completing your swing.

“It helps make your chipping a lot more mechanical and a lot easier,” McCleery says.

Black Butte Ranch’s experienced staff of professionals can help with this and all other phases of the game.

For more information on how to take a lesson from Dan or any of our Black Butte Ranch instructors, visit



10/1-14  8am – Dusk
10/15-21  Closed for Aerification
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10/1-21  8am-Dusk
10/22:  Closed for the Season

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