Orlando Golf Lessons Weeks 3 & 4 – Chipping

I’m a little late on posting these and I apologize for that..

As a quick refresher, I’ve been taking golf lessons from a local golf pro named Brendon Elliott.  If you haven’t been following along, you can catch up by clicking on the posts below.

Orlando Golf Lessons Week 1
Orlando Golf Lessons Week 2

Weeks three and four focus on chipping and pitching.  Not much worthy of note occurred during week three, Brendon spent the time taking video and pictures of my swing from all angles.

For Pitching, we used this sweet new VJ Singh mat he picked up at the PGA Merchandise Show.  When I was at the show, I tried the mat and hated it, but I’ve since begun singing a different tune, that thing is sweet!

Week four we discussed the outcome of the previous weeks evaluation.  To keep it short, we decided to start from scratch… 🙂

Chipping

“Minimum air time, maximum ground time”

The easiest way to describe a proper chip is to treat the shot as if you were putting with a lofted club.

Rest the club head behind the ball with the club face aimed where your shot is intended.

Elevate the grip four inches and move it forward four inches.  This will cause your hands to be forward in your stance.

You want to take a narrow stance that is slightly open with the ball a little behind the center of your stance.

The weight dispersion should be 60/40 with most of the weight on the lead foot.

Because of the position of the club, you’re going to “grip down” on the club and because the club rests more in your palms, you can choose either a standard grip or a putting grip.

It is said that using a putting grip is preferred because it allows minimal wrist action which will lead to more consistant shots.

The swing is very similar to a putting stroke except it involves a slight turning of the shoulders.  The swing speed should only be as fast as the rotation allows.  It’s very important to keep your wrists silent throughout the entire motion.  Keeping the wrists quiet ensures the club head trails the hands into impact.

There are two main elements to any chip, carry and roll.

Carry is the amount of arc in the shot.  As a general rule, the larger the arc, the greater the carry distance.  The length of the arc is determined by the distance the club head moves back and through.  So a larger swing will correlate into a larger arc leading to greater carrying distance.

Roll is the distance the ball…….rolls…  🙂  The amount of roll to a chip is determined by the amount of loft the club has.  As the loft of the club increases, the distance the ball rolls decreases.

Now this isn’t a perfect science, but here’s what I’ve been told about chip shots.  Regardless of where you are in relation to the green or pin, you always want to land your chip three feet (one pace) onto the green and let it roll the rest of the way.

To determine the club to use (this is where it gets tricky and i’m still working on this), you need to understand that every club has a carry:roll ratio.  See below.

PW  1:1
9i    1:2
8i    1:3
7i    1:4
6i    1:5

Ok, so check this out.  you’ll want to divide the number of paces your ball is from your “spot” (three paces onto the green) into the number of paces your spot is from the pin.  For an example, lets say your ball is four paces from the “spot” and the pin is eight paces from the “spot.”  You want to divide eight by four.  So your ratio is 1:2 and you’ll want to use a 9i for the shot.

Hopefully, this isn’t totally confusing…

I haven’t quite perfected the technique myself, but I’ve been practicing since the last lesson and I feel ALOT more comfortable with chipping than I did before.  The comfort has led to confidience and I no longer dread the shanks from three feet away like I used to.

As always, I thank the almighty Brendon for imparting such techniques on such a pitiful golfer as myself. 🙂

I’d love any feedback you guys have on this, I’ve found it very helpful!

-Dave

Check out some Orlando golf course reviews and if you’re looking to play, here’s a selection of discounted Orlando tee times.

  2 comments for “Orlando Golf Lessons Weeks 3 & 4 – Chipping

  1. at

    Dave, Great info, and definitely something I’ll be trying out for myself. I’m not sure I’d have the confidence to try it from just a pace or two off a big green with lots of distance to the pin, but I suppose every rule of thumb in golf has an exception or two.

    Have you and Brendon discussed any special situations where it’s best to use a lofted wedge, or try and land short of the green?

  2. at

    Hey Tony (And Dave),

    Thanks for the question. In terms of chipping as Dave laid out in this post, you really want to focus on the carry and roll method. Kudos to Dave on the explanation of this, you really did a great job of explaining. Tony, I would say that your best bet is to get the ball on the ground as quickly as possible and let it run out toward the hole. You are less likely to have “weird” things happen with the ball on the ground. Remember that your obvious goal is to get the ball as close to the hole as possible and this is truly the best way. Over time and as your short game skills and confidence grow you can experiment with using more carry and less roll…using a more lofted club and flying the ball further with less roll. However, your technique needs to be flawless or tour quality for this….this shot depends on a great deal of spin or “check” much like you see the guys on tour do. To accomplish this you need tour quality technique.

    The only situation where I can think of that you should use a much more lofted club then what is called for in typical situations would be when your ball (just off the green) is in a spot that is much higher then the spot the pin would be in….a downhill situation…especially if the green is very fast. Using your highest lofted club, I would suggest looking for a spot just on the green (or slightly off) and trying to hit that spot and let the ball run down to the pin. Remember that in situations like this, you are much, much better off with your ball ending up below the hole so that you have and uphill putt for your up & down.

    I’m sure Dave will cover our work on pitching and other short game shots in future posts.

    Hope this helps!

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