The object of chipping is to get the ball on the ground as soon as possible and roll it to the hole.
The exceptions are if you have to go over a bunker or water hazard. Take into account the shape and terrain of the green as you walk up to it. Pick a spot to land the ball so it may roll up to the cup.
The following examples are for right-handed players.
(bump and run shot)
1. Examples -- You are close to the green and have a lot of green to work with. You have a flat area with no hazards or bunkers. You need to keep the ball low because of overhanging branches.
2. Club choice -- 8-iron or 9-iron.
3. Stance -- Weight shift to the left, hands forward or left of the ball and very little wrist involved. The ball should be in the center or slightly forward.
1. Examples -- You are far enough from the hole to require at least a half swing. At least one-third of the flight of the ball is in the air and you have enough green to work with to allow for bounce and roll.
2. Club choice -- 9-iron or pitching wedge.
3. Stance -- Your weight should be left and hands slightly forward of ball. The ball position is slightly forward/left of center.
(flop or lob shot)
1. Examples -- You have a bunker or water hazard you need to go over, the flagstick is tucked close to the front edge of the green, you have very little green to work with or you have a short shot to an elevated green.
2. Club choice -- sand wedge or lob wedge and open the clubface slightly.
3. Stance -- Your weight should be centered on both feet and the ball position is forward or left of center with your hands slightly behind the ball to give the shot its loft.
As always, practice these shots before you try them on the course.
At home drills:
Use a basket, box, golf towel or head cover as your target. Keep it simple.
Step off the distance. This makes you aware of the distance with each club -- 15 yards, 20 yards.
Practice with varied golf clubs, distances and targets.
Quality, measurable practice is the most beneficial, not quantity.
JONI MEYER, LPGA teaching professional at Grand View Lodge's Pines, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 963-8755 ext. 267.
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