How to Choose the Right Club to Hit a Long Rolling Chip Shot

By Laird Small

Here is a shot that we area faced with a great deal every day. We have a lot of green to work with and I still have to loft the ball on to the green. Here is a technique that I would like to share with you that I call a lofted putter. The reason why we call it that is that we are going to be using our putting technique but I am going to be replacing the putter with a lofted golf club.

Learn the Lofted Putter Technique

That is right, I am going to use my putting grip, putting stance and putting posture but I am going to replace the putter with a lofted golf club. The loft of the golf club is going to send the ball up in the air over the rough here and land it on to the green where I have a ball placed, which is about seven to 10 feet on to the putting green. I want to do that so that I can land the ball in a consistent area each time and from there have it roll out.

The reason I have a variety of clubs here is that I would like to show you that you can use different golf clubs depending on how far that flagstick is away from you. Of course if the flagstick is a little closer the ball is not going to roll as much so you use a more highly lofted club like a pitching wedge.

Which Club to Use to Hit a Rolling Chip Shot?

If the flag is a little bit further away I may want to use a 9-iron or an 8-iron, but each club has a specific distance in the air to roll on the ground relationship. The pitching wedge has a one to two relationship, so for example if you hit it 10 feet in the air it will roll 20 feet, for a total of 30. So this gives you very specific guidelines for hitting these shots close to the green.

An 8-iron has a one to four relationship, so if you hit it 10 feet it will roll 40 feet, for a total of 50. It gives you some really specific landing areas and ball rollouts and you can become very consistent and doing this. Kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. Let’s take a look at how to do this shot. I am going to start off with my putter and I am also going to grab a 3-iron. You may not think we are going to do this with a 3-iron but here is what we are going to do.

Correct Stance for a Rolling Chip Shot

My address position here is going to be my putting posture; I am going to take my putting grip, my putting stance and my putting posture. The ball is going to be right in the middle of my stance. Here it is from the side view. Here is where the putter would be, the grip is more in the palm of my hands like it would be for a putter verses into my fingers.

Now I am going to replace the putter in my hands with the 3-iron, you can see the similar shaft angles. Now our weight distribution is going to be a little bit on to my forward leg, so it will look a little bit like this when seen from straight on, I am actually almost looking back at the ball a little bit.

The Best Club to Use for Maximum Roll Time

Now when I make my stroke I am just going to try to brush the turf, back and through, and I want the ball to be right at the bottom of that brush stroke. Let’s take a look at it. That ball came out ok; I have about four feet left. I used a 3-iron to hit that shot, how many of you would have thought to hit that golf club on this type of situation. It was the simplest shot that I possibly could have hit because the ball had the least amount of air time and the most amount of roll time.


You could be more confident hitting a sandwedge all the way to the flagstick, but your odds from a consistency standpoint and repeatability standpoint are not as high. Give this technique a try; I know it will save you a ton of strokes. And it will also help open the door to creativity and imagination around the green, which will make this game a lot more fun for you.

Category: Chipping
Sub Categories: Club Selection, Posture

About the Instructor

Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650