Hello golfers, welcome to this week’s tips and tricks. I’m loving the hot weather and hope you are too. It’s great to see everyone braving the heat on the driving range and hopefully you are seeing your scores improve. This week is very relevant based on the weather and ground conditions so will hopefully improve your game further. I played at Mendip Springs this week for two days and it was fiery. The scoring was not the best because it was almost impossible to hold greens. This meant that lots of chip shots from tight lies were required. This is how I went about playing them.
Inevitably this time of year you are going to be faced with tough chip shots from tight lies. Understanding how to play them to give yourself the best chance for an up and down can keep your rounds momentum. Thinning them through the back of the green and playing ping ping across the green can be tiring and frustrating.
Take a look at the following video to see the best way of performing a shot from a tight lie.
The easiest thing to do with club selection is choose a flatter faced club. The lower the loft the lower the bounce is generally the rule. If the shot does not require too much height then a gap wedge, pitching wedge, 9 iron or 8 iron are usually a pretty good choice.
When you have chosen a club and a landing area with a visualisation of how the ball will roll then you can take set up. Set up with the ball position slightly closer to the right foot so the shaft angle leans slightly towards the target. This will lower the bounce. Then slightly toe-in the club (close the face), this will also lower the bounce. Then raise your hands up so the shaft angle gets closer to 90*. This will raise the heel from the floor lowering the chance of duffed shots and encourage less wrist action.
The technique requires shoulder rotation and a slight bit of body rotation. The idea is to try and really lightly brush the surface with the leading edge of the club. You do not want to try and hit down on this type of shot, you want to sweep through. Try to feel as though the left arm (right-hander) and the shaft are working together. If you keep the structure through the left wrist and create almost a straight line through arm and club you should get a good strike. As soon as the wrists get too involved with the type of shot you’re asking for thins because the club is literally bouncing off the surface. To get this strike you need to turn your torso to face the target and keep height. If you dip down or lift up you are likely to compromise the strike. Try to imagine the shoulders making a rhythmical turn around your neck without any changes in height.
One way you can practice this which is very difficult and slightly unorthodox is to chip with your hands the opposite way around. You may have seen Matty Fitzpatrick doing this in his major win earlier in the year. He started doing it as a practice drill but found he way chipping better whilst on the course so stuck with it. Our very own Joe Harvey does the exact same thing! Hes in the England squad so if its good enough for him to practice maybe you should give it a go too.
This weather is great for hitting the ball further but that is no good if you can’t capitalise around the greens. Keeping your score going, even with scabby dry lies is the key to better scoring in the heat. Learn to play these shots with a variety of different clubs and if you can get on the practice green. We have the perfect facility for this time of the year. The Mill chipping area is now a similar condition to a lot of green on courses!
Chipping is one of my favourite parts of the game to both play and teach and you have to learn to love it. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and if you would like any help with your game then you know where to find me.