I received an email from a reader this morning that presented a good topic for today’s post. Hayden says he’s a regular reader and has learned a lot from my posts over the years, but there was a specific shot he wanted to learn how to play.
How do I hit a low chip with a lofted wedge which really grabs and stops when it hits the green? I watch all the pros do this and want to add it to my ‘bag of tricks.’
Well, Hayden, learning to master this shot will take some time, but when you do it will be a good shot to have in your arsenal. To me, this is one of three basic short game shots that every golfer must have in order to score around the greens. The other two are the basic chip or pitch that carries part of the way to the hole and rolls out the rest, and the soft lob shot that has more height and therefore stops quicker.
But today, we’re going to dissect this shot that Hayden mentions. The goal is to have the ball leave the club with maximum spin and a lower ball flight, hit the green with a nice ‘grab’, grab again on the second and third bounce, then end up with very little roll out. Here is how I suggest you learn to hit this shot:
- This shot is best hit with a wedge of at least 55* of loft, meaning either your sand or lob wedge.
- Your set-up posture should be with feet close together, and the ball back of center of your stance and weight favoring your left/lead side. Your body alignment should be open a little bit, and you should have your hands at least half-way down the grip of the club, if not further. The idea is to “get close to your work.”
- At set-up, you should have the hands/grip ahead of the ball, but only slightly so that you do not de-loft the club excessively. Your goal is to copy that relationship of hands ahead of the ball at impact.
- The backswing is slow and deliberate, and relatively low. You achieve that by turning the upper body and arms away from the ball together. The hands will rotate going back to keep as few “moving parts” as possible, but you do not want excessive cocking of the wrists on this shot.
- Your eyes should be focused on the side of the ball toward the hole to ensure a crisp contact with the ball.
- On the downswing, I believe the knees move forward just a bit, and the upper torso brings the arms, hands and club back through the ball. Again, the clubhead has to be the last thing through the impact zone. Knees, sternum, arms, hands and clubhead . . . in that order.
- DO NOT GET QUICK. This shot requires you to work with patience and precision. Your focus should be acutely on the front edge of the ball so that your club makes contact with the ball first, then the turf. An “almost lazy” swing pace will deliver the desired results.
So, Hayden, that gives you something to work on this weekend and going forward. Please report back in to us to let us know if this starts getting you closer to the results you are after with this shot, OK?
If any of the rest of you have specific questions you’d like answered or addressed, please send them to me with the link below.