Chipping From Tight Lies

June 14th, 2018
VIDEO: Transcript

If you’re looking for tips on chipping your sterling irons in tight lies, then I’ve got four things to help you with here.

The first would be just to stand tall. Part of good chipping when you have a ball and it is sitting on top of something and it’s not sitting on some grass that is fluffed up and basically teed up for you, you don’t have much room to work with there, so by standing pretty tall, you are sort of eliminating the possibility of hitting it fact or minimizing the chance that you can do it it fat, there is this measurement from where your neck and spine intersect with your shoulders in the vertebrae here, the C7 vertebrae, and wherever that moves is going to play a role in dictating where the bottom of your sweetheart in for your chipping. So, if you are standing pretty tall and position yourself such that the bottom of your sweetheart, you are barely touching the ground or just barely just barely, barely grazing the ground right there, then you’re going to minimize some chances of hitting fat. That’s the first thing, just to stand pretty tall as long as you keep your height, then it’s going to help out a lot, and actually, one additional thing that it helps with, is when you are playing a little bit taller were standing a little bit taller and you strike the ball a little bit lower on the clubface like this, that’s going to give a little more spin to, so generally speaking, there’s a thing called vertical gear effect so the higher up you strike the ball on the clubface, the less spin, and then as you move down towards the bottom of the clubface, the more it spins, so you can actually have good chips by hitting really low on the clubface, even such that about half of the ball is on the clubface than half the ball is off, so you can almost scull it in a way and still be okay, not all the way scull it but where you’d be hitting the equator of the ball, but as long as you’re just kind of picking up there, it’s going to give it a little bit more spin. So, standing tall can help minimize that chance it had a little bit of spin, so those are a couple of nice things there.

And then, the second tip I would say is to sweep or pick, or collect the ball, so don’t hit down on it, don’t take a divot. Whenever I’ve tried to take divots or hit down on at, you got to be really, really precise with where you are heading. Otherwise, you can catch it a little bit fat. There’s a little bit more margin of error when you sweep or collect, or pick the ball and you are starting to see this with good chippers on tour now, and as the instruction world notices that the good chippers are doing this, more players are doing it, more teachers are teaching it, so look at guys like Zach Johnson, Steve Stryker, guys that have really good short games, really good chipping games, and you will see that they are not taking a lot of divot and they are just brushing the ground, so that’s the second thing I would say.

The third thing is just to be smooth. So, don’t take it back, and it like a short amount of distance and jerk through, popped through, try and have a pendular type motion, a pendular type rhythm. That does a couple of things. When you are kind of working with a very light pendular motion, you are removing a little bit of the day-to-day muscle feels that we all have that sometimes, we feel a bit better, little bit worse, little bit tight, little bit more relaxed, and then you just kind of remove some of that and just work a little bit more with gravity and let the club do the work, then that’s going to be a little bit better for you. You will have a little bit more chipping distance control. So, if you take the club that, and then just kind of ride it smoothly through, it almost feels like you are not really doing anything. It feels like very little effort when you do that, but that’s going to help with your distance control, but then also, another good reason for that is if you have any kind of tension, we don’t have a lot of room to work with their did a good shot, so if you think about a maypole, a catheter ball going around a maypole, as long as there is no tension in that row, the ball is going to come around the same every time in the same spot, but if you put it a little tug on the road, it’s going to really disrupt the flow, and the ball is going to talk going around as smoothly, it is not going to come around in the same point of space, so that’s another reason to kind of be loose and boneless, and relax, and smooth, and rhythmic like that. It doesn’t mean to be slow for deliberate, or guiding it, just kind of go back to the pendular type motion, is the timing of gravity and it’s always going to be the same every day, so that’s going to help with a little bit of consistency, and then when we are talking about chipping from tight lies here, it is important that that club is coming through the same every time, and if you can remove a little bit of that human effort element to it, it can help your chipping from these tight lies.

And then, the last thing I would say is about ball position. So, you know there is a sweetheart there, you don’t have to try it down, you don’t have to try and hit up, so when you know that there is the swing arc, it is just a matter of positioning yourself in the right spot so that when you can be smooth like that, the ball is basically just getting in the way, so you want to have it be slightly on the way down were almost level not on the way up, of course, and to how you can do that, there’s a clever little way you can find where to put the ball position. I’m going to recommend, I will tell you to do it on the putting green, but if you think this will cause any problems with your superintendent or your local Pro, then maybe do it from the French – actually, maybe from the French may be a better idea, but you can maybe go, if you’re going to do it from the putting green, then maybe go about five or 8 feet from the hall, and then just do some very light chips so that if you do hit the ground, if you do hit the green, you’re not really going to damage it, and so there is no tighter lie in doing it from a putting green. So, if you can do all of these things, so stand pretty tall, sweep and pick it, try not to be taking divots, being smooth, and then you can use your modus if you have your feet pretty well together here, and they’re not moving your weight around too much from left to right, that when you hit the ball, pay attention to the subtlety of whether or not the striate it’s got to lean a little bit to get to it or you are catching up a little bit fat, and then you can just kind of like make subtle adjustments and then pay attention to where you need to have the ball and you can make it relative to your foot, relative to your head, your belt buckle, your logo, your swing cervical center, that C7 vertebrae I was talking, whatever you want to note where you need to have that ball to not feel like you are lunging towards it or not be catching it a little bit fat. So, that’s a little trick you can do, just doing these short little chips from the putting green, again maybe better from the fringe, so those are the things I’ll tell you as far as hopefully being able to help you chip from tight lies.

So, just to recap, stand tall to help minimize the chance of hitting it fat, sweep, pick, collect the ball, don’t take divots, that’s going to help your consistency and your ball striking as well, maybe give you a little bit more spin as well, nice little byproduct, be smooth, so don’t be jerking around a lot, it’s going to help you with the consistency and the position of your strike on the green, not on the green, the chip, and test for your ball position. If you think it is safe and if you think you’re not going to damage the putting green, do it from the putting green, otherwise, maybe do it from the fringe, just some short little chips and pay attention to whether or not to wear your string art is bottoming out and if you need to adjust a little bit one way or the other so that you can just stay in that same spot, keep your weight in the same spot and just make a smooth little arithmetic turned through the ball, simple and complicated, and the ball just gets in the way. So, those are the things I would tell you, give those things a try out when you are doing your chipping, and hopefully, you will improve your performance on those tight chipping lies.

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