Greenside Greatness

Get up and down when you’re just off the green

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A baseball grip helps generate hook spin.

To hit a low chip shot, try changing your standard interlocking or overlapping grip to a 10-finger "baseball" grip. But before you do that, make sure you set up correctly for a slightly downward blow.

Place a little more weight on your forward foot and place the ball back in your stance a bit. This should produce a forward shaft lean and de-loft the club, which will help keep the ball low. With a 10-finger grip, it'll be easier to roll your dominant hand over your weaker hand and impart hook spin on the ball. All this contributes to make a shot with a low trajectory and lots of roll. Make sure you try this only when you've got plenty of green between you and the flag. Depending on how high you want the ball to go, you can choose anything between a 6-iron and a sand wedge.


When you play a standard chip shot—or any shot for that matter—it's vital that you picture how your shot is going to travel toward your target.

Take the shot I have here as an example. It's a pretty simple chip shot that I'm hitting with my 8-iron. I do all the things I'm supposed to do—play the ball back in my stance, lean the shaft toward my target and rock my shoulders and arms back and forth to create a pendulum-type motion. But in order to get the ball close, I have to picture exactly how it's going to roll out

toward the hole. With a shot like this, I factor in slope, of course, but as a general rule, I want the ball to fly about one quarter of the way to the hole and roll the rest of the way. I don't really concern myself with the shot's trajectory, however. Mostly, I just envision the ball rolling, as if it was a putt that started off airborne and then quickly hit the ground. The more you think of these shots as putts, the more likely you'll knock it stiff, time after time.

Use A Putting Grip To Make Your Chip Shots

Here's a chip shot that works a little bit like a putt. There are two ways to play it, depending on the shot.

Method 1: Use a putting grip on a downhill chip to help soften the blow. This takes out the urge to "hit" the shot. As a result it deadens the shot and limits roll.

Method 2: Using your putting grip on a standard chip (demonstrated at right) allows you to stand closer with a more upright shaft angle. This will help straighten out your stroke, and improve contact. In general, a putting grip puts you in more of a "make" mentality.

Zach Allen, PGA, teaches at DeBell Golf Course in Burbank, Calif. Allen has won 20 worldwide titles. Visit


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