Most of us amateurs struggle with making those up-close, tight chip shots to get on the green. Even legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus saw these shots as the weakest part of his game. In this episode of 18 Holes, Jimmy and Natalie stress that a simple approach can yield impressive results.
These short chips are some of the most difficult shots to master and can add extra strokes to your score. Many amateurs feel the temptation to just putt from the rough, fearing that an elevated shot will send them past the pin. Jimmy and Natalie share that anytime there is unpredictable ground between the ball and the pin, you must get the ball up and over it, landing it on the green.
Three Steps to Conquering Your Fear of Chip Shots
Natalie says, “Anything that looks too hard in golf, you have to find the simplest way to do it.” You can boil that down to three simple steps to conquer your fear of those score-killing chip shots.
1. Set the Club Up to Hit the Target
Choose a spot in front of the pin on the green and aim for it.
2. Take a Short Easy Stroke
A backswing of only a couple feet is usually enough to achieve a nice shot. If you were to throw the ball onto the green, you’d just need a simple underhand toss to get close. No need for an overhand, Major League windup.
3. Position Yourself Properly
Find a comfortable spot that allows for an easy swing that yields square contact between the ball and the club face.
That’s it. Keeping it simple is the key to mastering this part of your game. Above all, stop your mind from making it harder than it needs to be. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in swing length, deceleration, and loft and ultimately complicate things. Just pick your target in front of the pin, take an intuitive easy swing, and watch the ball go where you want it.
Jimmy and Natalie just gave you a simple tip to improve your game when you find yourself with a short chip to the pin. Consistently practicing these real-world scenarios will help you handle these types of shots out on the course.
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