A golf tip from the pro: Adam Haugen, PGA
The short game is probably the most important part of the game that is often overlooked by your everyday golfer. Working on your short game is the fastest way to lower your scores because a majority of your strokes come from within 100 yards. Today, I will give you a quick tip on your chip shot.
Chipping is a shot that we use when near the green that is low to the ground, usually within a few yards. There are no obstacles to go over such as a bunker or water hazard. There are a few keys to hitting a good chip shot.
First, your setup must be correct. To properly set up for a chip shot you are going to choke up on our club a couple of inches. Choking up on the club gets you to stand a little closer to the ball which in turn gives you a bit more control over the shot. Ball position for a chip shot should be in the back of your stance. Placing the ball in the back of your stance will produce a forward press with your club shaft and arms. This will cause your club to “de-loft” and create a lower more penetrating shot that is in the air for a short time and rolls out to the hole more.
The last thing I want to emphasize in the setup is that you should have slightly more weight on your left foot (for right handed golfers) this will help you hit down on the ball with more of a descending blow. You NEVER want to try and help lift the ball in the air. When doing that it causes you to do one of two things, either top or blade it which will cause the ball go way past your target, or hit it “fat” which will cause the ball to go very short and not reach the target. To properly utilize the “loft” of the club you must hit down on the ball allowing the leading edge of the club to go under the ball into the turf causing the ball to get in the air.
Second, where is the pin in location to you? The closer you are to the pin the higher the loft on the club should be; wedge or sand wedge. The further the hole is from you try using a lower lofted club like an 8 or 9 iron. The idea of a chip shot is to keep the ball low to the ground and rolling a majority of the way.
A good key I use when I teach is to have the students put a tee down 1/3 of the way to the hole from where they are hitting the shot and use that as a landing target. The idea of this is to get used to the idea of hitting the ball 1/3 in the air and 2/3 on the ground. The more time the ball is on the ground, the less chance there is for error.
We all like to watch the Pro’s hit flop shots, but that is not a shot that the weekend warrior or mid to high handicap golfer should ever be trying to hit if they truly want to lower their scores! To improve your game take a private lesson with us. Our PGA staff at Grand View Lodge is ready to help you get the most out of your game and get your “playing better golf”! For lessons call 218-963-8755 or visit us online.