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Golf Articles by Nigel Gibson (PGA Professional Kingston Heath, VIC)

Financial Review Article 29/6/00

Q: How should you hit a green side chip shot out of long rough?

A: Hitting a shot out of the deep green side rough can be difficult, especially if the ball is sitting down in the grass.

To handle these type of shots you need to change from your typical chipping action. This is generally where most club golfers get into trouble. Quite often I see the club golfer still attempt to play these shots with something like an 8 iron and chip using there putting stroke. This results in too much grass getting caught between the ball and the clubface and therefore a miscued shot.

This type of chip would be placed in the category of a specialty shot and requires some changes from the normal chip shot. The secret here is to increase the angle of attack. The clubface must come down quite steeply onto the back of the ball, allowing you to get the least amount of grass between the clubface and the ball. Before starting to think about your set up, you must select a club to suite this style of shot. In order to get the ball to pop out with this steeper angle of attack we will require a club with more loft such as a sand iron or lob wedge.

Just like other chip shots you will need to set yourself up correctly. Take only a narrow stance just enough to support your swing. Place about 75% of your weight on your lead leg.

Now for the ball position. It should be placed toward the back of your stance, with your hands placed slightly ahead of the ball. Your hand position is going to cause the ball to shoot out lower than normal as the club is “delofted” with your hands in this position.

As you make your backswing, hinge your wrists instead of swinging your arms. By hinging your wrists straight off the ball you will create the steepest angle of attack possible. To make your down swing allow your wrists to simply drop the clubface on the back of the ball. Once again do not attempt to make an arm swing to create club head speed here. The weight of the club and gravity will create the momentum. With any new shot you need to practice and become confident with the stroke prior to using it in competition.



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