You have played with that good player at your golf club who just manages to get the ball up and down from everywhere around the green.
They manage to judge every element required and execute the shot to perfection. How? What do they judge and measure and how can you achieve this same level of skill and performance. This tip is designed to help you chip the golf ball much closer to the hole every time.
Fault - Many golfers do not judge a chip shot with the same amount of care or precision as they would a putt, therefore missing out on many important factors that are required to be accurate from such a short range. Time spent in preparation is vital in the overall success of a chip shot.
Fix - Measure the important outside factors that go into the shot in hand. Take your time to actually read the green and how the ball will react once it has made the putting surface. Does the green slope from right to left, left to right, downhill or uphill? Does the shot have a combination of a few different slopes and undulations. Once you have accurately measured and read the contours of the green, you can then start to calculate the perfect landing spot for the chip shot you have, allowing for the slopes and contours.
Make sure that on a right to left shot, for example, the landing spot has been taken into consideration. The landing spot should be moved to the right of the target to allow for this slope. If you have judged that the chip is uphill once on the green, the ball will most likely slow down as it starts to roll on to the green so the landing spot must change to make sure that the uphill slope has been taken into consideration. Measuring the most accurate landing spot depends on the club you have chosen plus how fast or slow the green speed is.
As a rule when choosing a landing spot, use this rough percentage guide of the ball in the air time against the ball rolling percentage and adjust it slightly depending on the conditions:
- Lob wedge landing ratio 70-30 (70% in the air - 30% predicted roll)
- Sand wedge landing ratio 60-40 (60% in the air - 40% predicted roll)
- Pitching wedge landing ratio 50-50 (50% in the air - 50% predicted roll)
- 9 iron landing ratio 40-60 (40% in the air - 60% predicted roll)
- 8 iron landing ratio 30-70 (30% in the air - 70% predicted roll)
- 7 iron landing ratio 20-80 (20% in the air - 80% predicted roll)
Top tip - Aim to control the chip so that the golf ball finishes around the flag as opposed to knocking the flag out of the ground. Imagine you are playing a lag putt that you want to get inside three feet. If you are faced with a chip shot you feel you can hole, then go for it. There is no better feeling than holing a shot off the green.