Chipping flight control
When chipping form the side of the green there is one type of shot that is right for everyone. The type of shot you select should depend on your chipping technique and your confidence.
In my experience there are technicians and there are explorers, neither is right or wrong. Those who like to think more about technique are usually very careful around the greens while those who are explorers tend to be a bit more carefree.
Take a look at Nick Faldo for example he was very much a technician around the greens. Compare that to Seve who was an explorer. Neither were right or wrong and both were multiple major winners.
With a 7 iron, a 54° wedge and a 60° wedge I will explain to you how to execute three different chip shots. By working on these shots you will become far more aware of your landing zones and how far the ball will roll when it lands on the green.
From there you can think about the type of player you are and which shot will best suit the situation you are in, your confidence levels and your game.
The high chip
The high flying chip shot can help you take severe slopes out of play and will stop the ball quickly. It’s a shot that requires confidence and commitment in your chipping.
First of all you will want to put some loft on the ball. The way to do this is by keeping the clubface lined up towards the flag and move the butt of the club backwards, adding loft but keeping the butt inline with my belt buckle.
So often I see players try to add loft by opening the face and pointing it right, this points the club in the wrong direction and won’t aid the high flight.
From there you need to make a confident execution by hinging back and hinging through. That’s not a shot for the feint hearted and certainly isn’t one to try in a medal without working hard on it first.
Mid height chip
This is a great choice if you are a fairly confident chipper but aren’t really into exploring. Take a 54° wedge and stand with your feet a little bit closer together compared to the high chip.
Again it is vital to make sure that the butt of the club it pointing at my belt buckle. This time you should look to use the natural loft of the club so there is no need to add loft, this should make it an easy shot to play consistently.
You should also remove wrist break from the shot, keeping them firm on the way back and on the way through. When thinking about landing zones and run out it is the type of shot that will tend to run out as far as at carries.
With a bit of practice you’ll get a feeling of how to control distance both through the air and on the ground.
Let’s just say you aren’t the most confident chipper in the world. If you feel tense and anxious every time you are faced with a shot around the green and fear the shot that can either skid across the green or duff in front of you, I’d recommend the chip and run.
Take a 7 irons and adopt the grip you would normally adopt for putting. Take your putting stance, with your feet square and your face pointing towards the target and simply rock your shoulders backwards and forwards. This shot tends to travel 20% in the air and run out 80%.
Making your selection
While deciding on the type of chip to play should currently be based on your confidence levels and ability the truth is that if you want to improve your golf and your handicap you should be able to play all thee types of shot confidently.
Work on the three shots mentioned when ever you get the chance and be aware of the way you set up, always making sure that your clubface is pointing at the target, regardless of how much loft you add, and that the butt of the club is pointing at your bet buckle at address.
The ability to play all three shots will give you lots of options to deal with situations when it really matters.