Playing a chip shot versus putting from the fringe of a green can be a little confusing for the average golfer. A lot of golfers choose to putt for the fear of not being able to control the distance of a chip shot around a green.
And, lets not talk about choking a chip shot.
The chip shot is one of the easiest to learn in the game. Yet, many recreational players have trouble hitting the short chip shot, even after several golf instruction sessions.
In fact, they’re so bad, they substitute their putter for wedge, which isn’t always wise.
More often than not the confidence lies in the ability to putt the ball. When do you decide to use a chip shot versus putting?
A quick review of some your options will help in the decision process. The circumstances have to be right to putt the ball. Here are some golf tips to consider and several situations to help your decision on choosing to chip the golf ball rather than electing to putt.
Consider a chip shot versus putting in these circumstances.
(1)Wet grass or thick grass.
The moisture or thickness of the grass is going to slow up the ball considerably, therefore weight of putt has to be determined to get it through the grass, and once you get it rolling on the green, the weight of putt it took you to get it through the fringe may not be enough or too much distance for the golf hole. In this circumstance there is too much weight control to consider.
(2)A very wet or slow green.
Chipping the golf ball will take a lot of moisture out of play, and a slow green forces you to swing harder with a putter to get the golf ball up to the hole, when the art of putting should call for a soft touch.
(3)Long grass and uphill to the hole.
You have to hit it harder to get it through the grass with a putter and up to the hole. Eliminate the chance of getting the golf ball caught up in the grass by chipping out and over.
(4)Over 7 feet of grass between golf ball and start of green, and hole is beyond center of green.
Chipping over the grass will eliminate slowing the golf ball up if you have a lot of green to work with.
(5)Hole is beyond center of green and more than 20 feet.
The odds are higher on getting the golf ball beyond 20 feet with a chipper versus a putter.
(6)Sprinkler system directly in front of line to golf hole or other obstacle that will affect the roll of golf ball.
Eliminate possible deflection of golf ball by chipping over the obstacle.
(7)Too much rolling terrain in the first 1/3 distance to the hole.
Taking most of the rolling green out of play by chipping over will give you a lot less rolling green to read unless you are very good at reading greens.
An alternative to chipping with a wedge, try using a 8 iron:
First, set-up as if your were going to make a long putt. Use your normal putting grip and play the ball back in your stance, off the inside of the heel of your back foot. The 8 iron is ideal for this type of shot because it’s short enough to deloft without the club’s shaft hitting you during the shot.
Also, keep your hands and weight forward, favoring your front side, as you would if you were hitting a chip shot. Hold the club vertically, so that the club’s heel is raised off the ground, enabling you to stand closer to the ball. And spread your elbows
Moving the ball back in your stance and shifting your weight forward positions the ball off the toe-end of the clubhead when you hit it. Using the toe-end will deaden the ball when you make contact. It will also help control the ball’s roll.
Hit the ball with a gentle rocking of the shoulders, as you would if you were putting.
This technique raises the club several inches off the ground in the backswing and forces you to hit down on the ball slightly, chipping it into the air. Concentrate on maintaining the width of the gap between your elbows as you swing thorough. It also ensures a pure arms-and-shoulders motion.
Using the 8-iron approach takes your wrists out of play. Recreational golfers who have trouble making short chip shots often have overly active wrists.
This approach will eliminate your wrists yet still allow you to strike the ball solidly. Just keep your head still and focus on making a short, firm follow-through.
You can also use this approach for longer chip shots. Just lengthen your stroke to play the longer shot, as you would if you were hitting a long putt. For extra long chip shots, try using a 5 or 6 iron to get the required roll.
The inability to hit a short chip shot is as much mental as physical.
To overcome these obstacles, you need to simplify both your mental approach and your physical technique.
Hitting the short chip shot well whether you use a wedge or an 8 iron is a start toward improving your short game. And, chopping strokes off your golf handicap which is the real goal.
You have the ultimate decision on your ability to play any one of these golf club selections in these circumstances. But, there is a good reason to think about these circumstances before you choose the club. I hope some of these golf tips will help in your decision process, and your goal to save strokes.
YOU can improve your game dramatically by following the tips outlined above.
Become the best player YOU can be and start lowering your golf score! If YOU really want to elevate your game, hit it farther, straighter, and nearer the hole then practice.