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The shortest of super short chip shots


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Hi Everyone, Just got back from a nice 9-hole day. Freezing but bearable. My recent trouble is with super short chip situations, and I'd love to hear what everyone's take would be. Here it is:

Your ball lands on the pin-side fringe of a fast, flat green, with about 2 yards of fringe and only 2-3 yards of green to the pin. The green is slightly elevated, so the fringe is not flat, but curved slightly. Oh, and the fringe grain is semi-long and directly towards the ball. Plenty of green behind the pin. The ball is sitting pretty, not too up, not in a nest. How do you play it? Please describe your planned carry and roll yardage if you like, too. I'll tell you what I did in a bit.

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If the lie is good enough (not a real tight lie), a chip shot with a sand wedge that carries just onto the green should be a pretty safe play.  Particularly if the grass is a little long and against you, so that putting is not an option.  Sand wedge is about 50/50 carry/roll.

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Thanks for that one Harmonious. I like it. Putting was not an option for sure. The rounded fringe edge and against-grain makes it no good for rolling it up.

I played my 10 yard chip shot, because I hadnt really gotten down my shorter than 10 yard chip, but also because I have a 54 and 60 wedge setup, and I hadn't seen many recommendations to use a 60 wedge for chipping. But later today at the range I tried and got my 60 wedge chip to play perfectly in the under-10 yard situation.

The toughest thing about this shot, I think, is using the necessary power to make a clean, yet short shot. I do NOT wanna make a chip shot so delicate and short that it becomes less of a swing and more of a spasm. My 60, and I think a 56-58 degree, works great.

I also wish there were more videos out there to show insanely delicate shots like these. Every chip shot video is about a perfectly distanced flag on a nice green. What about the 'get it close and if you can't, try to get a good putt coming back' shot? Or how about a 'how far do you adjust a chip before you decide to just try a different swing/approach' video. Its so easy for my to recreate these situations at my local range because they have those small flag-poles with spikes that stick into the green.

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Back in the good old days on the Golf Channel, Dave Pelz had a series of 1/2 hour instruction shows, each one detailing how to play a certain short game shot.  These were (and still are, as I recorded many of them) really helpful for me.  He may have some videos on his website, Pelzgolf.com.

I agree that chipping with a lofted club like a 56 or 60 wedge can be daunting at first.  But actually, it can be a safer shot, in that you can take a bigger swing than if you used a PW or 9 iron. If you are off a little on your carry distance, you don't miss out by much.

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Use a SW for shaggy fringe. Make sure you hit the ball first - with crisp but very short followthrough. Use 60% fly, 40% roll since you're going uphill, into grain.

If grass is shorter, I would putt the ball. My putter is a vintage Ping Pal, and has the putter equivalent of a "cavity back" head on it. Runs the ball nicely on shorter, greenside shots. I've tried short 8i chips of less than 10 feet, but that's not enough room for a lower chip and run to stabize.

Recently I practiced this shot with a 58* LW. Tried to drop it 2 feet short of pin, but ended up either 6 inches away or 6 feet away. Need to decide if LW is worth it on this type.

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Good counsel so far --

From what little I know, generally,

I think with any chip shot like this, the danger is quitting on it -- the club slowing in the down swing, and the ball remaining in the fringe. I tend to be even more aware of maintaining rhythm in these type of shots, maintaining the arm-body connection, and using a short backswing so one doesn't quit, then hitting through ball crisply and with sufficient speed to get it onto the green.

At the same time, my decisions on clubs where I have little room, in order of priority, is putter, hybrid, wedge - with the choice depending on the lie and slope, both on and off the green.

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I like to grab my 56, move the ball to my back foot, and use the same stroke and setup as I would if I were to putt it.  I use this for shots with alot of fringe (against grain) and when I'm just in the rough within 10 yards of the pin.  I use the same speed and backstroke as i would if I had a putt the same length.  The loft carries it over the fringe with low trajectory and rolls just like a putt.  I have to really trust myself because I always think I will either blow it by or stub one.  This works great for me often times leaving myself with a tap in or holing it out.

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I've actually run into this situation quite a bit. Ive tried just about every club in my bag on the super short chip, and my most consistant is choking way down on my 20 degree hybrid, and making a putting motion. The ball gets a little in the air to clear the fringe, then hits the green and rolls a few feet. Since you are hitting downhill, hitting a few feet past the hole and putting uphill is acceptable to me.

To elaborate a little more, I simply use the hybrid like you see some use the belly putter... end of the grip in my stomach, hands gripping the club like normal and the very end of the grip, and a nice smooth swing, without letting the end of the grip lose contact with your stomach. Very controlled.

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Originally Posted by JoshKeller

I've actually run into this situation quite a bit. Ive tried just about every club in my bag on the super short chip, and my most consistant is choking way down on my 20 degree hybrid, and making a putting motion. The ball gets a little in the air to clear the fringe, then hits the green and rolls a few feet. Since you are hitting downhill, hitting a few feet past the hole and putting uphill is acceptable to me.


I actually use my hybrid around the green quite often, particularly in these shots or when the ball is nestled up against the rough (or sometimes even in the rough).  I would use this play more than I would chip it.  Much easier to judge and control - does require some practice to understand how hard you have to hit it.

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I'd have to look at the shot.  If it is down hill and I feel like there is no way I can land it on the green and not roll it 10 yards past, I'll take my chances with the putter.  I feel like a bad shot with the putter is 5 feet past so I can make that.  But if I feel like I can land it on the green without hitting some really high mini flop, I'll chip with the 64 or maybe a little tiny pitch.  I feel like those really delicate ones are really easy to do really bad.  That is why my first instinct is putter.  I usually can judge putting through bad patches ok.

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i struggled with this short shot too but after watching Phil's short game DVD i have full confidence in this shot The thing is i was easing in to the ball often hitting it very bad. I got so bad that i started only using my 8 iron hitting pump and now. Now i am back with the 60' wegde hitting this very easy shot again :) I think the key is to hit it aggressive!

Search on youtube for Phil Mickelson hidge and hold. You dont even need to buy his product the technique is very simple.

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The first thing I make sure of on ANY chip or pitch is.......get it ON the green.  Lots of people aim at the distance directly to the flag.  Remember......any shot within 3-5 ft of that flag stick, whether it be 3-5 feet long or 3-5 feet short is the same distance putt.   So its really no big deal if you hit the shot 3-5 ft past the pin.  This allows you a 6-10 foot radius into which to hit your chip.  Thats a pretty darn big circle!   Take any club that you can safely hit into the circle.....if it goes in fine.......if not you have a fairly simple 1 putt for par.  (tip - watch the ball as it passes the hole so you  will know the break of your return putt.  This makes the return putt about a ton easier to read and is better then leaving it short)

Never miss the green....period!!  If you miss the green, you just added a stroke to your score and you are still chipping.

As far as your question is concerned - I use a PW......I normally do not chip with any higher lofted club then that.  I'll even land it on the fringe and one bounce it onto the green.  I make sure I accelerate into the ball, even though at such a short distance to the flag, the back stroke can be extremely short, even as small as a few inches.

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This is an area where I have struggled historically, so I practiced the hell out of it until I was really good.  The things I do are:

1.  Take a lofted wedge either a 56 or 60, whichever one gives you the most confidence.

2.  Set the shaft leaning only slightly forward with the ball in the middle so you hit it with some loft instead of hands leading with the clubface delofted.

3.  Take the club back with your arms and shoulders, not your midsection and with very quiet legs compared to the 10 yard chip.  Taking it back with your arms (turn) gets the club moving around in a shallow plane    while taking it back with your abs (tilt) gets the club moving straight back and steep on the target line.

4.  Good tempo.  Don't rush it, and don't take it back too far.  You need to be able to accelerate some through the shot, so it's key that you don't take it back too far.

Those things and some practice have more than doubled my effectiveness.

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You have to practice it because you have to hit it harder than you think:

  1. Take a lob wedge
  2. Setup like you're going to putt
  3. Bring the heel of the club up, way up (it won't catch the grass this way)
  4. Close the face a bit
  5. Make your putting stroke

Once you get the technique down, you have a lot of control of where it lands. It should pop up very nicely and roll pretty consistently.

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Originally Posted by CassinoNorth

My go to club is the 8 iron when its just on the fringe.


You must not have read the original poster's scenario.  Two yards of semi-long fringe, then 2 to 3 yards of fast green.  An 8 iron is definitely not the play.  If you land it on the green, it will roll about 6 yards, probably more.  If you don't land it on the green, it may get hung up.

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Originally Posted by The Gill

You have to practice it because you have to hit it harder than you think:

Take a lob wedge

Setup like you're going to putt

Bring the heel of the club up, way up (it won't catch the grass this way)

Close the face a bit

Make your putting stroke

Once you get the technique down, you have a lot of control of where it lands. It should pop up very nicely and roll pretty consistently.

A+  I have been using this method for many years.

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Usually I play this shot with my 60, open up the clubface at least 45 degrees, adjust the stance and play a regular chip at least for the first 2 yards on the green.

Better to have a comeback put with a chance to up&down;, than to leave it short and have to chip again.

greetings

michi

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