When you’re just off the edge of the green there’s a couple of different shots that you can play.
The first is called a chip shot which is a shot that’s going to fly real low, no more than a foot off the ground and is going to land somewhere between three to four feet from the edge of the green then roll up and drop in the hole. The other one is called a pitch shot which flies considerably higher, approximately two-thirds of the way to the hole and then rolls the additional 1/3 of the way.
The critical thing with any chip shot is choosing the correct club for the distance you are from the hole.
The farther the flag is from where you are, the less lofted you want the club you choose to be so that you can reduce the amount of time it’s in the air and have it roll to the hole.
Most people tend to use a wedge regardless of the distance to the pin, which is not the right mindset to have. Instead, you want to judge which club to use from the perspective of it landing only a few feet away each time and rolling the rest of the distance to the hole. Whatever club you choose should land the ball three or four feet onto the green and let the distance you need to the hole. The farther you have to go, the less lofted the club should be.
For example, for a pin that is only a couple of yards from where you are, you may want to use the usual wedge, however, if you have a pin that is about 15-20 yards away you may want to use a 7 iron instead. Regardless of the club you choose, its all about keeping the same short stroke and having the ball land only a few feet away and then roll to the hole rather than spending too much time in the air.
Some additional things you should take into account when selecting your club are:
- Is the green level?
- Is it uphill or downhill?
- Are you close enough to putt it in?
- How thick is the grass around the ball?
So, while you’re out on the course, make sure you keep this in mind and practice using different clubs for you chip shots! If you do, you’re going to find that your consistency will significantly improve when you’re using this one club, single stroke strategy rather using a different stroke each time.
If you would like to schedule a training session with Dick, just call the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex Golf Concierge at 916-808-2531 to find a time that works for you!