5 Shots! You Need To Know To Score Like A Pro

Get inside the ropes and learn Pro-Style short cuts

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Hitting delicate chips from the rough can be tricky. It's even more difficult if you try and use the smaller muscles in the hands to get the ball airborne. For me, and for many of my colleagues, hitting crisp chips is a lot like what I just talked about in terms of hitting pitches. You want to keep some flex in your left knee and play your weight slightly favoring your left side. But with chips, there should be even less hand rotation, meaning you want a rock-solid left wrist to prevent the club from twisting as it brushes through the rough. Here's what to do.

As you hit small chips around the green, concentrate on the back of your left hand facing the target at impact and keep that left hand staying above your right through the entire chip. There shouldn't be any big "release" here, as you would do with a full swing or even a pitch shot. Instead, hold that left wrist firm and rotate the body over your left knee.

A great drill to firm up that left wrist and get a feel for a flexed left knee is to practice hitting chips (and pitches, too) on just your left leg with just your left arm. You'll immediately get a sense for how it should feel to have a firm left wrist as you hit chips from the rough.

Whether you encounter wet sand, a fried egg or an embedded lie, there are a few must-know moves to ensure you hit the shot correctly. First, lower your expectations a little bit. Even with perfect mechanics, some lies in the sand are going to be unpredictable no matter what. Second, don't play the ball back in your stance as I see many amateurs do. If anything, you want to play the ball forward of center in your stance. Third, use a wedge that has a little less bounce in the sole grind. In this case, I went with my 56-degree wedge, not my 60-degree. The reason for this is because I want to hit this shot not with an open face, but with a square clubface. Why? Because hitting this shot with a face that's open makes it even more difficult to use the sand to your advantage and lift the ball into the air. Instead, I want to play the hands a little forward of the ball, square up the face and make an aggressive swing and hit about two to three inches behind the ball and try and blast a divot about one inch deep.

Because you're hitting this shot with less effective bounce and a square clubface, the clubface is going to dig into the sand very easily, so there's no need to feel as though you need to dig low to lift the ball airborne. It's going to happen anyway, meaning the most important component of this shot is to swing aggressively and be ready for some added resistance in the sand.

I recommend you practice this shot a few times and get a feel for hitting bunker shots with a square clubface and the ball a little forward in your stance. Sometimes you'll actually want to hit open-faced shots, but with tough lies in the sand, a square clubface is often the right way to go.

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