Chipping out of a divot made easy

2013 08 Chipping Out A Divot

Landing in a divot around the green need not be so costly thanks to a couple of simple alterations.

The basics of a chip shot still apply: you just need to exaggerate to compensate for the lie. A couple of minor changes to set-up can transform this shot from a bad break into a simple up and down.

• How to hole out

• How to hit a flop over a tree

Set up the same as a normal chip, apart from getting the shaft as vertical as you dare so the heel of the club is off the ground. Now stand very close to the ball, approximately six inches away.

Play the ball just inside your left heel with the majority of your weight on the left side.

These changes make the swing more vertical and help pop the ball out of the divot. Also, use a slightly more lofted club than you would normally. With a little practice you will add a new shot to your armoury that also works well for tight lies.

One more thing...

Good chippers and pitchers rotate the upper body through impact, helping to control the clubface. Poor chippers tend to overuse the hands. Try this drill to help you understand the correct upper body feel.

• Solid strikes with putting

• Get the correct takeaway

Hit some short shots with your lead arm only. Set up with a narrow stance, weight left and left foot turned out to help promote some turn.

The upper body controls the motion supported with a little leg movement. This allows the club to turn through and left of target. 

High handicappers are guilty of scooping with their hands, using no upper body or legs, whilst better players tend to lean the shaft too far forward, delofting the club and driving their pitch shots.

• Get it close from the downslope

• Use an 8-iron for longer bunker shots

Both methods result in poor strikes. If you struggle with this drill, it means you're not using your upper body enough. Make it easier by placing your right hand on your left shoulder. The goal in any short shot is to deliver the same loft at impact as you set down at address, and this drill will help you achieve the correct feeling.

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