There is no reason at all to over complicate any greenside shot. Ensuring the fundamentals of the set-up are correct can determine the successful outcome of any short game shot. Making alterations pre-swing allows for a natural flowing action to deliver the club to the ball without manipulation, or the need to help the ball toward the target in any way.
This allows you to gain maximum control over ball flight while guaranteeing the reaction of the ball on the green, helping gauge distance control while improving your ability to get up and down!
From a bare lie with little forgiveness, why risk the bounce of your wedge being unkind? Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, choose a less lofted iron and get the ball rolling to the cup as quickly as possible with a dependable chip and run.
1. Ball back in stance
Positioning the ball back in the stance delivers crisp ball-turf contact for ultimate control while also helping produce the lower flighted, rolling trajectory needed to execute this shot.
2. Passive hands
Hands slightly forward of the ball affords you a more passive hand action, encouraging the hands to lead through the ball for ideal impact conditions.
3. Weight on the left
Weight favouring the front foot helps secure stability while encouraging an aggressive angle of attack that improves the quality of contact essential for this shot.
Depending on distance, the shoulders can develop from a rocking action for shorter chips to more rotation for longer pitches. Using a similar set-up to above with a 52º wedge, the move is completed with a smooth acceleration to a full finish (rock your shoulders to a point longer in the through swing than backswing).
1. Be natural
Arms hang naturally and distance is tempered through gripping down. Control achieved via a simple, flowing action led by the bigger muscles. The hands actually do very little throughout the swing.
2. Pick your spot
Focusing on a pitch point with these shots allows you to select the club that will feed the ball to the hole, taking into consideration the lie, terrain and reaction of the ball (spinning/checking or releasing).
Developing a slightly steeper angle of attack than usual, through increased wrist hinge in the backswing (image on the left) provides the most control possible from these snagging lies by promoting ball/first contact (as opposed to image on the right with shallower angle of attack). It is imperative that the big muscles continue to work, so that the shoulders/torso rotate as they would in a normal pitch so as not to create too much of a hand and arms swing that delivers no control.
1. Don’t get snagged
The heel of the club should be a little off the ground through the shaft being more vertical which helps prevent snagging in the thick lie.
2. Lift your hands up
With the hands a little higher and club shaft more vertical, it becomes easier to use the bounce of the club located toward the toe – offering a smoother impact with less resistance.
Originally published on bunkered on November 29, 2013.