In this month’s Golf Digest, there’s an article from Butch Harmon talking about how to chip off tight lies. In the article, he suggests that you play the ball BACK in your stance to ensure that you don’t hit it fat. Take a look at the image from the magazine to the left.
Most amateurs have been taught to chip this way, and it creates more problems than it solves. First off, note in the picture just how much shaft lean he has in the image on the right. This means that the leading edge is going to be the first thing to hit the ground.
The problem with this is that leading edge acts like a knife and digs into the turf, and this is exactly the reason most amateur golfers hit chips fat. Laying the sod over a chip shot is not only humiliating, but also costs you a stroke that is totally preventable.
The ideal way to hit chip shots that I’ve been teaching for years is with a more upright shaft angle so that you can use the bounce of the wedge. This is similar to how Stan Utley teaches and is a more “modern” way of hitting chips and pitches around the green. So, here’s a free chipping tip –
If you struggle with hitting chips fat, keep the shaft more upright at address and move the ball FORWARD in your stance.
With the ball forward in your stance the leading edge never even strikes the turf, making it nearly impossible to lay the sod over the ball. In one of my instruction videos on chipping, I demonstrate hitting chip shots of tight lies that you can see in the image from the video below. The lie is REAL TIGHT – it’s the putting green! However, because of the fact that I play the ball UP in my stance rather than back, this allows me to use the bounce and hit off any lie.
So, when you’re tired of being embarrassed of laying the sod over your chips, learn the MODERN golf chipping setup and stroke that will keep you from ever hitting a fat chip or pitch shot again and give you confidence to get up and down from anywhere around the greens.