Well, we took our clubs in a cart over to the driving range and practice green area. Mitch brought his own pitching wedge, a bucket of golf balls and set up a flag on the green.
His first question was what did you want to learn?
My husband answered that he wanted to be able to chip over a trap, land on the green and stop. There are many varieties of chips and pitches that one does during the game of golf, but Twin River's Golf Club has many holes in which there is a sand trap right in front of the green or surrounding the front of the green with only a narrow neck on which to bounce up. The photograph here shows a chip used to get under low hanging growth, not one we wanted to explore at the moment.
So Mitch said, "Show me what you do."
With a pile of golf balls in front of us, my husband and I each chipped onto the green near the flag.
After we did so, Mitch focused on what my husband was doing and explaining what parts of the chip were not quite right. He explained how the stroke should be continuous from reaching back all the way through connecting with the ball on toward the flag. He explained that distance was subject to how far back you reached, not slowing the down stroke and not shortening up the follow through.
The number one thing we learned in our chipping lesson is that every person has their own unique weaknesses.
The second thing we learned was that being told how to do things better, is not the same thing as doing them better. I started chipping up pretty close to the flag, but as I worked to modify what I was doing, I started committing the number one mistake in chipping: I didn't look at the ball!
The photograph here shows the way turf can hide a ball--balls deeper in the turf are likely to slow down your shot. My yellow golf ball I use often is easier to spot in the bright sunny weather in Florida.
How did our lesson differ:
My husband found he wasn't rotating his hips through his chipping stroke. And that he was trying to use his wrists rather than the club angle to create the loft.
I found that I wasn't standing near enough to the ball and that I was rolling my wrists back rather than lifting them up, to do Phil Mickelson's hinge and hold technique he talks about in his book that I discussed in my review of the Secrets of the Short Game. Unlike my husband that was accelerating through his shot, I tended to also slow down through the shot as the ball connected.
Was the lesson worth it? You bet. Both my husband and I learned what to pay attention to in our stroke, something we couldn't necessarily diagnose for ourselves.