Symptom: You aren’t getting up and down enough when chipping.
Your erratic chipping leaves the ball too far from the hole too often, putting too much pressure on your short game. The frequently shouted “get going” or “hit something”, or “&$^#@”.
Description: Getting up and down more often requires that you pick a specific specific spot where you want the ball to land. Then you execute your chip to that chosen spot.
Why it Works: Chipping is really a two-step process. First you figure out where to land the ball given all the variables. Then you execute your shot to land the ball on your chosen spot.
The two things, are, of course, somewhat interrelated. After all, the amount of spin you will impart to your ball depends on your lie, and so could influence your landing spot.
But, still, decoupling the landing spot with the execution gives you one thing to focus on at a time. And that is always a good thing. I promise it will improve your chances of getting up and down.
Does this sound simple? Well it is! But, hey, like most things in this world, simple doesn’t mean easy.
Getting Up and Down Ingredient 1 – Pick Your Landing Spot
Getting up and down from around the green is an art, and is one of the quickest ways to save strokes on the course. Chipping itself is one of the hardest parts of the game that requires the most feel and touch.
You must consider the length of the chip, how much spin the ball will have, the slope and speed of the green, your lie, your stance (uphill, downhill, sidehill), and many other factors. It’s enough to make your head spin as you stand over the ball and puzzle over all these factors.
But you can reduce all this complexity to one simple question that you can answer and commit to — where shall I land the ball?
Bill Haas had all this and more to factor in, and so he spent a lot of time picking out where to land this chip – from the water, in a playoff for the 2011 Tour Championship (1:16 – 1:21).
And with the whole golfing world watching. Think you are facing some pressure with your foursome watching? Truly, this was impressive focus on his part.
So much fun to watch this:
Getting Up and Down Ingredient 2 – Execute the Chip to Your Chosen Spot
Where to land the ball is something you can control, which is why it is powerful to focus on this factor. And, unlike most things about golf, you can practice chipping in your own yard.
As you play your round, the situations you will find yourself in will vary depending on the conditions of the course, or the hole, or the day, or whether they’ve mowed the grass yet, or whatever.
Maybe you are playing at a really fancy course, where the greens are running about 11 on the stimpmeter. You are used to your home course where they run about 6, on a good day. How can you cope? You deal with it by picking a landing spot a little closer than you normally would and executing your chip.
You see, you can always reduce all these variables to the simple question — Where shall I land the ball?
Learn to chip to a spot with your hands ahead of the ball and you will get up and down more often. And you will hear the coveted “nice touch” or even “it’s good” from your playing partners as you tally another up-and-down.
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