Golf Chipping Tip: Get Up and Down by Picking a Spot to Land Your Ball Like Bill Haas

Bill Haas picking a target spot to land his chip shot

Symptom:  You don’t get up and down enough when chipping.  Your erratic chipping leaves the ball too far from the hole too often.  The frequently shouted “get going” or “hit something”, or “&$^#@”.

Description:  To get up and down more often, chip to a specific spot where you want the ball to land.

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.

Does this sound simple?  Well it is!

Chipping is an Art

Bill Haas trying to get up and down by picking a target spot to land his chip shot
Bill Haas faces many challenges getting up and down from here, and so focuses on his target 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 face 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).  So much fun to watch this:

Get Up and Down by Picking Your Target Landing Spot

Where to land the ball is something you can control.  And practice 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.  But 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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