Cutting chip shots

By • Category: Chipping, Features

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!

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is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
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