Consistently Chip Close with a Single Club Option

If you are going to consistently chip the ball close to the hole with a single club, you are going to need to have some variety in terms of the kinds of shots you can hit with that club. In this section, we are going to offer some insight on how you can develop that variety.

There are three basic shot techniques that you should be able to produce with your 56* or 58* wedge. Those shots are listed below.

  • Standard chip shot. Naturally, you are going to want to be able to hit a standard chip shot with your go-to club. What do we mean by standard? Basically, we are talking about a shot which has an average trajectory, a modest amount of spin, and a little bounce and roll on the end of its path. This is the shot you will hit when you aren’t facing anything particularly daunting or unique between you and the hole. For instance, if you are 10-yards from the hole with only flat green between you and the target, you can use your standard chip shot to do the job. You’ll use whatever chipping technique is natural and comfortable for you, and you will place the ball roughly in the middle of your stance. The key here is to execute the basics – keep your head still, keep the club moving through the ball, and pick a specific landing spot for the shot. Spend plenty of time practicing this kind of shot so you can rely on it each time it’s required.
  • Chip and check. This is a shot that will impress your playing partners – but only when you pull it off correctly. The idea here is to send the ball up toward the hole on a low trajectory with plenty of spin. The ball will bounce a couple times along the way before the spin takes over and stops it cold. You’ve likely seen professional golfers use this shot from time to time – and you probably assumed that you weren’t capable of pulling off the same trick. While it’s not necessarily easy, you may be able to add this shot to your repertoire with some practice. The idea here is to hit down firmly on the ball with your 56* or 58* wedge. You should play the ball back in your stance, and you will need to have a good lie on the short grass. If you don’t have a good lie, this shot is not going to be a viable option. Once you are setup with the ball back in your stance, the whole challenge is to make clean contact. By striking the ball perfectly clean, you should generate enough spin to help the ball stop quickly after a couple of bounces. Not only does this shot take skill and practice, but it also requires a steady nerve. If you flinch before impact and miss-hit the shot, the ball is likely to run all the way across the green and off the other side.
  • Flop shot. Naturally, this is where we needed to end our list. Sometimes, you will find yourself in a situation where the only real option to get the ball close to the hole is a flop shot. Here’s the thing about flop shots – you don’t want to have to play them very often, as they are extremely challenging. When you have no other choice, the way to play a flop shot is to move the ball up in your stance and lay the face of the wedge wide open. Then, make a big swing and slide the club head under the ball at impact. With any luck, the ball will pop straight up into the air, travel a short distance toward the hole, and drop softly down onto the green. It looks great when it works, but even professional golfers have trouble pulling this one off consistently.

Of course, you will probably find occasions where none of these three shots make sense, and you’ll need to come up with something else on the fly. This is why it is so valuable to use a single club for most of your chip shots. Even if you haven’t practiced a specific shot previously, you will know how to use your go-to wedge, and you will know what it is capable of doing. The short game is about creativity, and you will feel more able to be creative when you completely trust your club.