Chips shots made easier

TIGER Woods playing the “money shot” out from the bunker on the 7th hole during the second round of the Masters. | Reuters

TIGER Woods playing the “money shot” out from the bunker on the 7th hole during the second round of the Masters. | Reuters

Published Apr 26, 2024


Nisharlan Sewgolum

YOU would have noticed our structure of golfing tips in the past weeks, which started to mentally prepare you for the course, before moving to putting and this week, chipping.

It’s the method I use when coaching someone for the very first time. Working from green to tee as an order of learning, but this method is something used even by Tour Pros.

Work on your game from the green to tee. Your driver is an important club for sure, but your short game is the part of the game we refer to as the “money shots”, simply because this area of play saves a golfer many strokes.

What makes the short game so challenging to one, is the fact that you are not going to make a full swing as the distance is much shorter. To help understand this you would need to focus on the length of your backswing.

The point of where you are going to stop the club on the backswing is to be figured out prior to the address position. If your shot requires 30 yards and this backswing stops at the hip position on the up, have this in mind and locked in.

Any doubt of this position will cause deceleration during the swing. It is vital we keep the acceleration through impact even on short shots as we want the clean strike.

Whatever is your preferred club of choice when chipping, the next time you are on the range, practice shots stopping at different positions on your backswing and take note of the distance. This will give you a great deal of confidence when placed on the course and this chip is needed.

The two key factors for chipping is not allowing wrist break and then using the bounce angle of the club.

A great drill to feel the hands locked in with no wrist break, is to place a towel across your chest and lock it under your armpits. Hit shots not allowing the towel to fall. You would notice the better striking as well as launch to the shots.

If you look at the small number under your wedges, this is known as the bounce angle. It’s a must that you use this bounce angle and not allow your clubs leading edge to become stuck in the ground. The perfect drill for this is to make chip shots with just your right hand. You will feel the club bounce of the ground at impact and not sink into it.

It’s amazing how much this part of the game impacts your entire approach to the round. When a golfer is confident with his short game, it brings less pressure on focusing so much on the drives. He or she will know that there’s an area of play that will still rescue a good score if needed. Spend an equal amount of time on work of this chipping and practice the two drills which will surely make you a better chipper. Catch you on the fairways!

–Sewgolum is a PGA AA golf professional, Golf Pro for Saudi Aramco and was voted Top 5 International PGA Pro for the year 2022. He publishes “On the Fairways” weekly on the Post newspaper