Do you find yourself just missing the green by a few feet, leaving your ball on the collar? I will explain the simple chip shot to help you get your ball up and down from there. (Note: this will be described for the right-handed golfer.)
When faced with this shot, use different clubs, from a sand wedge to 6 iron, perhaps. We want to get the ball to land a few feet on the green and continue rolling toward the hole, leaving you with a short putt of 2-3 feet, or less! Here’s how…
Place the ball more forward or toward your target side, left foot with your feet aligned open or to the left of your target line (pic. 1). From this setup, you will find it easier to keep more weight on the left leg, encouraging a downward movement of the club through the ball. This will eliminate the dreaded “thin” shot that rolls across and over the green, leaving you with another chip!
Place your hands lower on the grip (pic. 2). This makes the iron similar to the length of your putter and encourages a pendulum motion, much like putting. As you make the stroke, you will see and feel the clubhead just “brushing the grass,” which is exactly what you want. This will allow the club head to pass through the ball, allowing the ball to become airborne and land on the green to continue on a path toward the hole. As mentioned earlier, practice this shot with different clubs with the goal of landing the ball a few feet on the green in the same area with every club.
Place a tee in the ground (pic 3) so you can see the area to land the ball. If the hole is 25-30’ away, perhaps you would use your 7 or 8 iron. If the hole is 10-15’, perhaps the 9 or pitching wedge is best. With practice, you will see you have many options when you find your ball in this location; use different clubs and see your chipping improve!
If you need help with this shot or any part of your golf game give us a call at The Trails Golf Shop at 360.1920 or see your PGA Golf Professional staff.
[Alan Hager, PGA, is general manager and head golf professional at The Trails Golf Club in Norman. Visit TrailsGolf.com for more information.]