Aug 22, 2019
This chipping video is part of the 'Masterclass Series' with David Griffiths. The aim is to try and demonstrate different approaches to the same chip shot and convey some of the less obvious elements that are involved in short game planning.
Play the Percentage Chip Shot
On two of the scenarios in the video, David has chosen the more elaborate high spinning chip, where I elected to keep the ball along the ground. The high ball seems to have fewer variables to deal with since it has taken out all the unpredictability of the bounce and roll. But to make this shot predictable you would need to be able to guarantee the contact, ball trajectory, spin rate and hit your landing spot. Clearly, a putt or a chip shot using rescue club from the edge is a much better shot for the majority of golfers.
The Process of Planning a Chip Shot
- Every shot started with assessing the lie. This will dictate what chipping options are available.
- Assess the terrain; can you keep the ball on the ground or is it too rough?
- Pick your ideal landing spot: this is usually a yard on the green.
- Choose the club that gives the right combination of flight and roll. So if the landing spot is halfway to the hole then a Pitching Wedge or Gap Wedge would normally be the right option. (See Short Game Strategy)
Chipping Pre-Shot Routine
- Plan the chip shot and choose the club as above.
- Visualise the flight and roll of the ball. It helps to also imagine the sound of the strike that you are intending to create.
- Practise strokes: There are two main aims here: Firstly to gauge the length, speed and rhythm of the swing. Secondly and most importantly, the practise stroke is about rehearsing the contact you want to make with the ground. This guides your coordination system and helps you make fine adjustments to your swing until you have the perfect 'scuff' in the ground.
- Step in and execute the chip without too much thought. At this stage, I am really just trying to replicate the feeling of the practice swing. At all costs, DO NOT STARE AT THE BALL AND TRY AND HIT IT. Trust in the club scuffing the grass to create the desired strike on the ball. (See Optimal Chipping Focus).
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