Archives for the ‘Chipping’ Category

Cutting chip shots

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Here’s a bit more advanced concept that, as usual, requires some practice — but, once you start to get the feel for it, you’ll be able to save yourself a stroke or two per round!

Some pros use this concept on a regular basis for their chipping into sloped greens, but for us amateurs, there are really only a handful of situations where I recommend attempting this type of shot.  You’ve got to find yourself in the unfortunate situation where there’s an extreme slope to the right with the pin on the very left edge of the green, or vice versa.  If this is the case, a normal chip stands no chance of ending up close to the hole, and you’ll likely be left with a long, difficult putt afterwards.

Fortunately, there’s a way that you can get these chips much closer to the hole!  Picture Great Wall #18 with the pin all the way at the top of the green.  Your drive was a bit too long, and now you’re in the rough or sand to the left, just about pin high.  You’re looking at a short chip into a right 10 slope with no green on the left with which to work.

Instead of bailing out, give this a shot — rotate once to the right and play about a 3/4 C2-type chip with backspin.  Because of your lie, you have to hit it a bit harder than if you were hitting off fairway, since hook kills distance from bad lies (even chips).  With this shot, you’ll actually have the ball working back up the hill with the backspin, and it should settle nicely around the hole!

Practice will be required to nail the distance, so this might be something to play with on chip shots where hook might not be required, if you don’t think you can make the chip shot anyway.

Let’s look at another fantastic example — Southern Oaks #16, the treacherous par 3 sloped towards the water.  With a left-blowing wind and the X-22s, I often find myself bailing out to the right in the sand with my 9-wood.  With a straight chip from here, it’s very difficult to keep the ball on the green, since the lie kills your backspin and the slope and wind are pushing to the water.  To combat the situation, I rotate once to the left and play an A2-type 3/4 chip with backspin.  Now I do have some action working against the downward slope, and it’s much easier to get the chip to stick on the green!

So, add this type of shot to your arsenal and give it a try when faced with one of these tough situations.  With a bit of practice, you’ll impress your friends and help your score!

Revisiting short chip shots

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If there’s one area of my Golden Tee game I’ve improved the most, it’s probably my chipping from just off the green. Most amateurs have the mindset that if they roll off the green and can’t putt, they’ve lost a stroke. But, with enough practice and these tips, you’ll be holing out much more often!

Let’s start with this situation — you’re 7 yards from the cup, but you have to carry some fringe/rough to get to the green. Luckily for you, there’s a high percentage shot in play! A Lob Wedge flicked ever so gently forward, on a flat surface, travels 7 yards. If a bump-and-run is not an option, I love to line up my lob wedge and use my thumbs to flick the ball as gently as I can at the hole, and 7 yards seems to be the perfect distance for this. Now, if you have wind and/or slope, adjust your aim ever so slightly to find the bottom of the cup.

Or, if you don’t have a LW, you can use a SW too (but, I’d say the magic distance for the gentle flick of a SW is around 11 yards).

In addition, you can apply roll or backspin to either add or take away 2-3 yards on these shots, and it’s great having that flexibility!

Now that you’ve added that shot to your game, let’s talk more about the bump-and-run! If you’re in a situation where you’re back on the fringe far enough where you can’t putt (tip — pay attention to what club the game gives you — if you’re handed a wedge, you almost certainly can’t putt), it’s bump-and-run time!

So, what club do you use? My go-to club is the 5-hybrid (I play with a hybrid set). But, I also adjust my club based on how much fringe I have to carry. I’ll bump-and-run anywhere from 10 yards out up to 30 yards out.

Here’s what you do — ignore the wind, but take note of the slope. Since we’re going to keep the ball low and rolling, you still have to know how much slope to play. The great thing is that these shots come out low and quick, so you don’t need to play very much break at all, especially from 10-15 yards. So, pull the trackball back very slowly (usually straight back, but sometimes left or right for slope) until the club is about level with your calf (never less than this, but sometimes slightly more). Then, push the trackball forward with not much force, and watch the ball jump out onto the green and roll into the cup!

This is definitely a shot that takes a lot of practice, so hit the chipping green in the practice facility. Always make sure you pull back enough so you don’t duff it, but adjust the speed of your follow-through to account for distance.

Once you get comfortable with a 5-iron or 5-hybrid, you can add more clubs for this shot. I’ll go down to a 2 or 3 hybrid if I really need to keep the ball on the ground. It can still happen sometimes where your ball bounces over the hole if you’re really close to the cup, so use as low a loft as you can control to keep the ball on the ground!

Also notice how you don’t have to be very gentle with these shots if there’s no danger in going long, because the hole will suck up a ball traveling pretty fast, as long as it’s on-line!

What about that tricky 2-yard chip?  You’re in the deep rough, but the pin is only 2 yards away!  I tend to use something like a 9-iron and pull it back ever so slightly before shooting forward gently.  You want just enough to get the ball going, but you want to make sure it contacts the green right away too so it won’t bounce over the hole!

One more shot I’ve been practicing is the 7-iron out of the sand.  I saw the pros use this in the Chicago tournament, and I’m getting better at it.  If you’re anywhere from say 15-40 yards away and in the sand, put on backspin and pull about halfway back and shoot forward about 50% as well.  Practice with the touch and feel of this shot and you’ll be holing out a lot more often!

With enough practice and these tips, you’re sure to knock a couple more strokes off your score!

Chip shots in Golden Tee

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Chipping is very important in Golden Tee. Besides putting, the best players make up the most strokes on amateurs due to their chipping skills. I’m not at an elite level yet, but I can give you the basic tips on how to give yourself the best chance of chipping the ball in the hole, without leaving yourself in bad shape.

Chips under 10 yards

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Golden Tee tips tricks hints shortcuts golf game 2007 2008 2009 live arcade chipping chip shotsThere comes a point where you’re so close to the pin on a chip shot in Golden Tee where you can’t flip the trackball forward gently enough to keep the ball in front of the pin. That point usually comes from within 10 yards, or if you are using a low-iron for a bump-and-run. Here’s a tip for how you should play very short chips: first pull the trackball back slowly so your club begins to come back. You’ll want to pull it back so it looks as if you’re taking a one-quarter swing. Then, use your thumbs to flip the ball forward at about one-third strength. This should give the ball enough to pop out of the fringe onto the green with a good chance of going in the hole.

The worst thing that can happen here is leaving the ball short, still on the fringe! I’ve done it many times. This usually happens when you don’t have a big enough backswing. It’s better to keep your backswing at a consistent length and alter the speed of your shot than to have a shorter backswing and try to hit it hard. Remember, at the worst, you want an up-and-down from the fringe – you don’t want to be chipping again on your next shot!

Of course, bump-and-runs with low-irons in Golden Tee don’t require much speed to get them off and running. Still, make sure you get enough of a backswing to clear the fringe and get the ball running! Practice is the key here – keep working until you get the right feel!

Bump-and-run chips

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These shots in Golden Tee give you the best chance of holing out a chip. If you are in the fringe and only have green in front of you, it’s definitely a great tip to pick a less-lofted club like a 5-iron to punch and run the ball to the hole. There are two big advantages to this bump-and-run shot – first, you don’t have to account for wind, since the ball is only in the air a fraction of a second. Secondly, the ball will be rolling faster, so you don’t have to play as much slope as you would with a loftier club.

Again, these shots will take lots of practice, as you obviously don’t want to hit the ball too far since you’re using a low iron from just off the green! See the “Chips under 10 yards” section for help on executing these shots. Remember also that it’s very hard to “lip out” a shot in Golden Tee (it has to be hit way too hard and slightly off-line), so even if you hit the ball too hard but it’s on-line, the hole should suck it in!

Lofty chips

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When shooting out of a bunker, over a bunker, or any other shot where you need carry into the green, use a wedge to get that loft. The problem with lofty clubs in Golden Tee, as mentioned above, is that they are affected much more by wind and green slope. The best tip towards trying to hole a lofty chip is to try to carry the ball up close to the pin on the high side of the slope. By taking extra green roll out of the equation, you can concentrate more on how the wind will affect your shot. I usually don’t recommend using backspin or roll on these shots either – try to land the ball just short of the hole and let the slope guide the ball in.

Club selection for fringe chips

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So which club should you use for fringe shots onto the green in Golden Tee? Well, much like real golf, the best tip is to pick the club that you think can carry the ball onto the green from the fringe, and you want to utilize as much roll as possible.

Chipping with slope

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Golden Tee tips tricks hints shortcuts golf game 2007 2008 2009 live arcade chipping chip shots slopeIt’s very important to factor in the slope on your chip in Golden Tee. The best tip is to try to visualize where your ball will land after wind takes its toll, and then take slope into account also. Slope also affects a short, high chip much more than you think it would, so even if the slope is just a couple degrees, make sure you account for it.

Chipping with wind

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You won’t believe me until you really see it, but wind plays a very big factor during chip shots in Golden Tee. Being so close to the pin, you wouldn’t think that the wind would blow chip shots off track, but it really does! A tip I use often times is to rotate my golfer right or left to help compensate for a strong side wind, and make sure to hit it longer into a headwind or softer with a tailwind.

Chipping distance

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Golden Tee tips tricks hints shortcuts golf game 2007 2008 2009 live arcade chipping chip shotsOn most chips in Golden Tee, you’re close enough that you won’t be able to crank the trackball forwards – these become true “feel” shots. If your wedge goes 50 yards, you’ll have to get a feel of how hard to shoot the trackball so you can execute chips of 40, 30, and 20 yards successfully. My biggest tip here is to use “thumbs” to help control distance. For touch shots such as these, I have a better time controlling a half-distance shot using my thumbs than trying to half-hit a palm shot. This is probably the part of the game that will take the most practice – you’ll need lots of rounds to get comfortable with how far your chips will fly.