by Nigel Gibson (PGA Professional Kingston Heath, VIC)
Financial Review Article
From off the green
a chip shot is a better bet than the long putt.
I see many club golfers
opt immediately for the putter whenever they are looking to run the ball
onto the putting surface. This is a good decision when the you are just
off the green and the pin is only a few metres away but maybe not the
best option when the pin is a long way from you on a large green.
Generally around the
green is a fringe when often is quite a deal slower than the green. The
difficulty of the long put from off the green is that you need to get
your ball through this slower grass and all the way back to the pin. To
do this you will need to hit the ball quite hard. Most of the time I see
the club golfer come up short on these shots, as it is difficult to hit
the ball hard and have any control over the shot.
When you chip the
ball with a 6 or 7 iron the ball will spend some time in the air generally
over all or most of the fringe grass. As the ball hits the green it will
also be bouncing slightly which stops the ball being slowed up from the
friction of the ground. Therefore you will find that you dont need
to hit the chip shot as hard as you would the putt which in turn gives
you more control over the shot.
Now I know that many
of you pull out the putter because you feel you can not duff the shot
as you might with a chip shot. However if you set up correctly this will
never occur. On a few occasions I have written about the set up for the
chip shot, so if you have forgotten the main points you will find them
· Narrow your stance and lean 70% of your weight onto your lead
· Hands in front of ball keeping left arm and shaft in one line.
· Ensure your arms are fully extended and the club is hovering
slightly over the grass.
· Set the ball slightly behind the sternum.
· Swing the club head back and through using no wrist. Just like
a putting stroke with a slightly downward blow.
Once you practice
this shot you will never take that putter out for that longer approach
putt ever again.