Looking to improve your chip and run shot? Focusing on core tactics is the key. These fundamentals below will help you improve and position you for better results:
Choke down on the club for better feel, and accuracy. Maintain a medium to firm grip pressure that will help you swing the club back and forward with the shoulders and arms not the hands and wrists.
Open your stance; your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. Put approximately 80% ofyour weight on your front foot. It is very important to maintain this weight distribution during the swing. Do not allow your weight to shift to the rear foot as you take the club back.
Ball position may vary depending on the height and amount of roll desired from the shot. For more roll, place the back in your stance. For a higher, softer shot, position the ball more forward in your stance. In most of you chipping shots the ball will be played back in your stance which will maximize the amount of roll and minimize the amount of time the ball is in the air.
Before selecting the club to be used, find out how much “air time” and “ground time” is required for the shot. Air time relates to the amount of time or distance the ball will travel in the air. Ground time relates to the distance or roll the ball will make once it is on the ground. Keep the air time to the minimum amount required to land the ball on a flat short grass surface. For more air time use the more lofted clubs such as the Lob, Sand or Pitching Wedge, for more ground time use less lofted clubs from 9 iron to hybrid club or even a fairway wood. The more you want the ball to roll the less loft you want on the club.
Use the pendulum stroke. Commonly taught as the putting stroke, this stroke is made with the arms and shoulders moving the club back and forward in one piece. The hands remain firm; keep the wrists from breaking while making this stroke. The length of the backswing will determine how far the ball will fly in the air; the amount of loft on the club will determine how far the ball rolls once it is on the ground. Look at the finish of your swing, you should find your hands pushed out at the target and the front arm firm with no wrist break or cupping. Keep your grip ahead of the clubface through impact. Do not allow the clubface to pass your hands. This will assure you are hitting down on the shot and not breaking your wrists or scooping the shot.
Take an old club and insert a shaft, alignment stick or dowel into the end of the grip. Take your address position with the stick extending under your left arm. Now make the stroke with your arms and shoulders. Do not allow your wrists to break. If you are doing this correctly the stick coming out of the grip will not bother your stroke. If you begin to break your wrists at any point on your downswing the shaft will hit your side. This is a great tool to see if you are breaking your wrist during the stroke.
Chipping is a lower shot that releases and rolls. Play the ball back in your stance, weight and hands ahead of the ball. Use the length of your backswing to determine the air time and club selection to determine the amount of ground time or rolling distance of the shot, follow through, and do not break the wrists. With some practice you can get really good at this shot and lower your score.