Taking the headache out of chipping

Western NY PGA Tips

There’s nothing more frustrating than missing the green by a yard or two, but still making a double bogey because controlling a lob wedge is no piece of cake.

The best way to solve that issue is to take the lob wedge out of your and replace it with… well, almost anything.

Big Oak Golf Club Teaching Professional John Rose has a three-step process that will change your swing from a pitch (high trajectory, short roll) to a chip (low trajectory, long roll) around the green.

Rose says to choke down on the club for more control, move the ball position back in the stance and then make sure the hands and the weight lean forward.

“This will help you hit a descending blow on the golf ball and ball will stay low and roll to the hole,” Rose says. “If that ball is getting up to knee high or higher, that’s not the correct shot.”

This is not a long swing with a hinge. All Rose wants is a putting stroke here. The wrists should never break and the hands should be in front of the club all the way through the swing. The shoulders should be doing all the work.

Club selection depends entirely on how far the shot must go. Rose says this swing should drop the ball about two paces on the green every single time. From there, it’ll roll out to the hole longer or shorter depending on the club.

“If the pin is cut near to us, usually we’ll use something like a 9-iron. If the pin is cut more towards the center of the green, we’re going to use a less lofted club, That less loft will make the ball roll farther for you,” Rose says.

He suggests using a phonetic device to remember what club to use relative to how far away the cup is: nine-near, seven-center and five-far. Once you learn the shot get comfortable with the feel, you are welcome to try any club with it.

“You’re setting up the same way, you’re just altering what club you use in order to make the ball roll the right amount,” Rose says.

When Rose plays, he will set the left or low hand on the first. He’ll choke down and let the clubhead rest on the ground at address. When he leans his weight and hand forward, the one hand on the club creates about a 45 degree angle with the grip. Rose won’t place the right hand on the club until the rest is set and he won’t change the angle.

This is not a shot to use out of thick rough since the swing is creating a descending blow. The ball could easily get caught up in the rough and not move more than a foot or two. In addition, if you are so far away from the that landing it two steps on creates a bullet that could never hold the green, you have to go back to a pitch shot.

When it’s done right, this easy to execute chip can turn the near miss approach shots into pars as easily as finding the green in regulation.


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