Golf Chipping Tips

Give Yourself an Arsenal of Clubs!!

Generally speaking, good players-those with excellent short games, want to get
the ball on the green and rolling toward the flag or target as quickly as
possible. Poorer players tend to throw the ball up in the air and take a chance
on where it might stop. With minimum air time and maximum ground time, your chip
will behave more like a putt and you’ll know-with precision-where the ball will
stop (well, you will after awhile!). When you add a stiff breeze to the
scenario, the decision to fly the ball closer to the hole becomes even more
questionable.

Using a complete chipping arsenal-from at least the 7-iron through your lob
wedge-has another benefit. If you use one favorite chipping club-say, your
pitching wedge-for all of your shots around the green, you’re going to have to
make somewhat dramatic changes to your technique for shots of various lengths.
For example, the swing you’d make for a 50-foot shot will be much longer than
the one for the 15-footer. But if you choose a 6- or 7-iron for the longer shot,
now you can make approximately the same motion-with the same rhythm-for the
longer shot as you would for a shorter shot; you let the longer club do the work
for you rather than making a significant adjustment to your swing.

So experiment using a variety of clubs around the green. Use your wedges on
faster shots, shorter shots, and those where you have to carry the ball over
trouble. Use longer clubs for longer shots when you have no trouble to carry and
plenty of green with which to work.

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A three-wood:  From off the green??!!!???.

It may sound preposterous to some, but the three-wood chip is a great shot to have in your arsenal when the ball lies no more than a foot into the first cut of rough. For starters, a three-wood won’t snag.  You know why we like this concept?  Because it works for Tiger Woods!!! I first tried this out in South Carolina, USA.  It since has become my “Carolina Pitching Wedge”.

The key to working this shot is to keep the left arm fairly straight but relaxed throughout. The more tension, the quicker the stroke, resulting in a loss of distance control. Grip down with the palms facing each other, similar to the way you would grip a putter. Place the forefinger and thumb of your lower hand on the shaft for better feel and control of the club head. Then, use your wrists to pop the clubface into the ball (kind of like an axe, but not as hard as you would if you were splitting wood, or whatever else you use an axe for).  That will propel the ball airborne just enough to coast along the top of the grass.

The rest, we shall say, is putting history.

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