I teach roughly 30-40 people a week at our facility and I would say 1 out of every 18 lessons does a student ask for a short game lesson. Before each session we talk about the students game and I always ask how their putting and chipping is. Most every time they say it is pretty good and not the problem but yet they are a 10 to 25 handicap! Let’s get real everyone needs work on their short game and most of us miss more greens than we hit. Even the best in the world only hit 70% of greens in regulation. So how do the pros shoot low scores so consistently? One, their misses are not as bad as ours. Two, they have incredible scrambling skills. My advice to you today is to dedicate more time around the practice green this year and that alone will lower your scores!
Today we are going to cover the basics for chipping around the green. Specifically, we will touch on the chips that we have plenty of green work with. Typically, we have this shot 6 times a round but only save par maybe twice. These type of shots may not be memorable to your or your buddies, but your buddies will remember that low score you keep shooting!
First, grab your ball and a towel then pick the shot you want to hit. Then select the appropriate wedge to get the job done. I aways recommend getting the ball on the putting surface ASAP, the longer the ball is in the air the more can go wrong. How much green you have should influence which wedge and shot to hit.
Next, let’s get our towel out. Fold the towel and place 2 to 3 inches behind the ball. The idea here is to not scoop the ball or decelerate. If you hit the towel that means the club was beating the hands at or near impact. The goal is for the wedge to come into contact with ground between towel and ball. The towel will force you to lead with your hands through the impact zone and steepen your attack angle so that the loft and the bounce of the club can do its job. Remember, the club doesn’t need our help.
After hitting with the towel behind the ball a few times I want to take this a step further. It is important to narrow your stance and choke down on the club around the green. Also we need to put 70 to 80 percent of your weight on front thigh/foot. The best way to get this feeling is to put your back leg behind you, make sure your back toe is on ground for balance! This will help you get weight on lead side and keep it there. This will cause you to steepen you angle of attack and help with deceleration issues. Remember to check you equipment and make sure you have the tools to best fit your game. Ask your local golf Professional for more advice on what wedges that best fit your conditions and technique.