As senior golfers advance in years, the frayed nerves from countless pressure moments on the course can begin to take their toll.
One situation where this becomes evident is around the greens on chip shots. It is not uncommon to see senior golfers begin putting the ball from off the green even when a chip is what’s really required. If a senior does begin to feel added pressure chipping around the green, and putting feels safer, there is a way to combine the two.
Using a putting set up and stroke whilst chipping is a perfectly sensible way to hit chip and run shots and can be used with a variety of different clubs in the bag. The shot produced by using a putting set up and stroke will rise a little in the air before landing and rolling out to the target.
The Set Up
For a standard putting set-up:
1. Start with the feet shoulder width apart, set parallel to the target line.
2. Place the ball just forward of centre in the stance, with weight 50/50 on each foot.
3. Use your putting grip, perhaps holding the club a little further down the handle.
4. Use your normal putting posture (a little tilt from the hips so the eyes are hanging over the ball).
5. Aim the club face at your intended target.
For the putter stroke with a chipping club:
1. Start the stroke with a very slight forward press, moving the hands ahead of the ball by an inch.
2. Take the club away low to the ground, keeping the hands, arms and shoulders as one unit.
3. The shoulders should drive the stroke, rocking them back and forwards, the club should be moving like a pendulum.
4. The club sweeps through the ball on a very shallow arc. There shouldn’t be a divot, brush the turf through impact.
5. After impact, the hands, arms and shoulders stay as one unit, the left wrist through impact stays firm and should not break down.
6. The club should be taken the same length back and through, like a putting stroke.
This technique should produce a chip-and-run shot and works very well from a pitching wedge all the way up to a fairway wood.