Revisiting short chip shots

By • Category: Chipping, Features

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!

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
Email this author | All posts by

8 Responses »

  1. For chipping, here’s what I do…keep in mind, I pull the club head back between my knee and my hip and light-to-medium thumb the trackball (I try to thumb the ball about the same each time, I’ll get a pic/vid next time out) . Adjust according to green slope and rain.

    Under 20, I’m screwed – I’ll play anywhere from a 3 to a 9 depending on how I feel. (obviously I have to adjust the pullback and forward swing)

    20-29 yds – 9I
    30-39 yds – 8I
    40-49 yds – 7I
    50-59 yds – 6I

    Adjust as necessary…

    I’ll also pull out a 3 or 4 also from time to time from longer distances…but, I’m pretty good with a SW, so I try not to chip over 50 yds.

    Think of chipping as “fast putting” from a distance.

  2. Like Skipper knows 🙂

    3i or 5i for most chips… offset with backy on the 3 and sometimes rolly on the 5.

    If I’m in the bunker, and know that the 3/5 won’t clear the lip, SW roll. Exception is when there is a huge slope going down from me, in that case I am just happy to stick on somewhere below the hole 🙂

  3. Overfiend — I’ve always used a 7 or 8 to chip and tried to play the break of the green. If I use the 3, can I go pretty much right at the pin and take out a lot of the break?

  4. Absolutely — that’s the advantage of the low-lofted clubs! Keep it low and run it fast along the green, and you can usually aim close to center of the cup.

  5. For me, its all about the 7 iron for my chips. Pulling back to just below knee height with no spin or roll (if its a longer shot) has always worked for me. Unfortunately using the 7 often requires that you play the break, even on short chips. On longer chips, the 7 can get into the wind so I’ve begun experimenting with the 2 iron past 30 yards.

  6. […] from Craig: George Dalton, Sacramento, CA Listen to George: Sites you may be interested in Revisiting short chip shots | Golden Tee Fan The Anthony Kim Winning Golf Swing Technique | Zamuco.Com Alright my secrets out…Queercents ? […]

  7. thx for the great post! after reading it, i had an opportunity to try a few of these “fast puts” chips. i managed to great a few great shot points with a 84 yard 4 iron chip-in 😉 the problem i am having with the 20-40 yard chips seems to be the wind. am i not “flicking” my thumbs fast enough? when i do it, the golf ball travels a good instance up into the air and about 3/4 or 4/5 of the way to the hole location … so the wind really seems to grab the ball – but yet the above posts seem to say to ignore the wind ?!?! thx again

  8. I am right there with Skipper. That is pretty much how I play my chips. I am always looking to hole them…so even if they are 65-80 yards, I would rather take a 3i with spin over a wedge and have to worry about the wind.

Leave a Reply