I see a common problem when average golfers play chip and pitch shots—those critical strokes from 40 yards and in. You open your stance to the target line, which is good. That lets you turn through easier, clearing your left side at impact. But too many of you open your hips and shoulders at address along with your feet, which isn’t good. You can hit some strange shots from that position. 

Open your stance 20 to 30 degrees, but keep your hips and shoulders square to the target. Your stance is aligned left, but your hips and shoulders should be parallel with the target line. 

For solid, descending contact, set up with most of your weight on your front foot and your hands ahead of the clubhead. It’s basically a left-arm stroke, with lower-body action keeping the wrists firm through the ball. I like to start the forward swing with the right knee moving toward the target. 

Remember: Start with your feet open, your body square. 

Thoughts from Tom: 

People ask me how I can be hitting the ball better now than I did 20 years ago. All I can say is, I’ve hit thousands and thousands of practice balls. The modern equipment helps some—I carry the ball farther—but there’s no substitute for working at it. 


Address Your foot line (red) should be open to the target. Your shoulders and hips (blue) should be parallel with the target line (yellow).