Chip Shots

Save strokes from just off the green

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7 Two-Club Drill

KEEP THE CLUBS TOGETHER

Probably the most important aspect of a chip shot is to return the club back to the ball in a good impact position. And the key to good impact is to use your body well on the downswing and keep your wrists from being too active through impact. A great way to control the club properly is to make some swings with two clubs.

In this drill, hold one club with each hand. The goal is to keep the club shafts the same distance apart during the swing. Notice how, during the swing, my body turns back and through, and the clubs stay about the same distance apart. If either of your hands gets too active, the shafts won’t stay in the proper position.

8 The Bump-And-Run

It’s not unusual to see the bump-and-run shot at the Masters or British Open where the area around the greens is extremely “tight.” It’s the perfect shot if you’re uncomfortable lofting the ball onto the green. It gets the ball running on the ground and rolling toward the target.

Consider the situation you see me in here. I’m a good bit below the target and afraid to loft the ball to the hole. (If I hit the ball even a little short, it will roll back to me; if I hit it a little long, it’s going to roll away from the hole.) I’m using an 8-iron here, and just hitting a chip shot into the hill so the ball will slow down as it climbs the hill.

This shot takes a little practice to gauge how hitting into the hill impacts your ball’s speed, but it’s a shot that will help you tremendously when you fear hitting the ball in the air.

9 Bonus Drill: One Foot Back

Here’s a drill I learned from PGA Tour pro Martin Laird. Set up with a closed stance (pull your right foot back) and then lift your right heel so you’re up on your right toe. To balance yourself, you have to be careful to keep your weight forward and consistent throughout your swing. That’s it! Doing so will help you hit it solidly all the time.

Steve Dahlby, PGA, is the director of instruction at The Golf Club Scottsdale and Forest Highlands Golf Club. He has taught numerous Tour players.


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