Save More Pars

Get Up And Down More Often

More Contact
At the moment of truth when hitting shorter shots, how you come into contact with the ground is more critical than it is with full iron shots. With full iron shots, you take divots on the target side of the ball. With chips, instead of taking divots, you actually glide across the turf. Plus you swing a lot slower, and how you make contact with the green stuff then is even more important. In the case of the photo to the left, it looks as though I’ve hit a decent shot, but notice how low into the grass the leading edge of the wedge is. I actually stubbed this shot, and both the ballflight and spin rate of my ball were lower than I had wanted.

Less Contact
With less friction comes less deceleration through the shot. Not only does this help add a little more backspin, but avoiding too much surface contact also prevents me from opening or closing the clubface at impact, two things that send the ball off the intended line.

If you have a depressed lie, then more surface contact is necessary to hit the ball. With ordinary lies, brush across the top of the grass and let the wedge’s grooves and lofts do the work for you in getting the ball up and airborne.

Release It
There really aren’t many shots in golf where you don’t want to release the hands. The same holds true for short shots. By allowing the hands to release through the shot and letting the clubhead turn through, you’re more inclined to make a natural, free-flowing swing in and through the golf ball. Stay relaxed!
Freeze It
If you freeze your followthrough, you’re not only more prone to chunking or skulling your chips, you actually increase your chance of shanking the ball off the hosel. It also means you’re keeping your hands too firm, which restricts your swing altogether. The only time you can get away with this type of shot is when the ball is embedded and you have to dig.

If i had selected the right wedge, then maybe I wouldn’t have totally whiffed this shot! Many amateurs think that the closer they get to the hole, the higher-lofted wedge they ought to use. Well, this case proves that theory wrong. I’m actually on a downhill/sidehill just off the green. I played the shot correctly, with my shoulders aligned to the slope and the ball in the right position. Heck, I even made a good swing. The problem? My 60-degree had too much loft, and I slid right underneath the golf ball.

Play The Right One
Choose the right club for every shot, and don’t be afraid to mix it up and get comfortable hitting shots around the green with all your wedges. This way, you can make the same swing with each wedge and let the differences in lie, length and loft do the work for you.
Choose Wisely
Downhill lies are brutal with higher-lofted wedges. In the case of my whiffed shot above, I should have hit a lowered-lofted wedge to avoid slipping underneath the ball. And by the way, make sure you always assess the lie before you select your club, and not the other way around.

1 Comment

Add Comment