Shots To Score By!

Must know shots to get up and down more often

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As I hit this shot, it's important I don't stop turning my sternum because, if I do, the clubhead will want to release too soon, negating the loft I need to carry the bunker. But if I rotate, it becomes a lot easier to hold the face open at impact and delay the release of my hands until after I make contact with the golf ball.

THE EVERYDAY CHIP

INSTANT TIP: 
Make chipping as simple as possible by using different lofts to hit different kinds of shots. Simply change clubs for more or less roll, and keep the putting-like stroke the same for every chip.


Hitting a regular chip shot is sometimes made too complicated. I've seen students try and hit chips with open stances and closed clubfaces, closed clubfaces and open stances, and so on. In reality, simpler is always better, and that starts with proper alignment.

Set up with the clubface aiming at your target or a spot on the green where you want to hit the ball, and align your feet, hips and shoulder parallel left. If you feel a little more comfortable with a slightly open stance, that's fine; just don't open your hips and shoulders along with your feet. Next, keep your feet close together, with your knees flexed and your weight centered in your stance. Your eyes should be in front of the golf ball where you want the clubhead to bottom out.

Next, slide your hands down on the grip (you're looking for control, not trying to hit it a long way), and point the butt end of the shaft at your left inner thigh. The hands should always stay ahead of the clubhead on this shot, with the arms staying close to the body. It's not the hands and arms that control the distance of the shot, rather the rotation of the sternum controls how far you're going to hit the ball. The weight should remain on the target side through the shot, with a slight release of the lower body to the target through impact. It's a lot like the feeling of throwing a ball underhand when using the wood or hybrid. Your pace for this shot should be very smooth. The "smoother" the shot, the more control of distance you'll have and the more feel you'll have for the shot. Quick/fast motions create fast and hard shots whereas smooth/even pace creates soft and controlled shots.

Lee Huntley, LPGA/PGA, teaches at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California. For more information, visit ojairesort.com.



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