Tips From The Pro

Most golfers will tell you that the best chip shots travel less in the air and more on the green. Most amateur golfers will aim a foot or two before the hole and get mad when the ball continues to roll past the hole and off the green. Playing different kinds of chip shots around the green is a great way to master the short game. Don’t fall in love with one club! Using a pitching wedge, the ball will travel about 60 – 70 percent of the distance in the air and roll about 30 – 40 percent. This is because the wedge has more loft. You should use your pitching wedge when a higher, softer shot is needed.

Using an 8 or 9-iron when chipping, you will have about 40 percent airtime and 60 percent roll. These clubs have a steeper face and consequently will set the ball on a more direct line to the hole. These types of shots are great to use 30 – 40 yards off the green when you need to roll the ball to the back of the green. Practice these shots regularly and your efficiency will improve.

The best advise I can give the high handicapper is play the chip shot farther back in your stance and lead with your hands. Leading with your hands will create a “descending blow” into the ball and this will produce the type of shot you want to hit.

Eliminate chunk shots and thin shots. Two of the most annoying chip shots around the green are thin and chunk shots. The chunk shot is caused by hitting the ground before the ball, along with a decelerated swing, which usually results in a big divot and a ball that rarely moves. The thin shot is caused by a fear of hitting the ground before the ball, which results in the club striking the ball without hitting the ground at all. A thin shot will errantly shoot across the green. Acceleration through the chip shot will help eliminate both of these shots. You must also keep your head still throughout the swing.

Spend at least 50 percent of your practice time on your short game and you will eliminate a lot of extra strokes. Good Luck!