Keep Your Options Open
Have you ever gotten to the side of the green that you hit the ball and wished you had another club because you like I had to leave your cart way over there because we are going through our over-seeding at this time of year? Well the key to that is to bring a whole handful. Five fingers, five clubs. I have from my 8-iron all the way up to my sand iron because from where I left the club I could not see the lie of this ball and without knowing what the lie is I do not know what shot I am going to play. So now that I am here and I have the ball sitting up on a nice lie I am going to hit what I call a putt-chip.
What that means is that it is a putting set up with a chipping club with only two variables. Let me show you what it looks like. I have chosen my 50 two degree wedge because the situation is such that I am not very far from the fringe and the fringe is not very far from the pin and the green is relatively quick. I want to hit a dead chip shot here, I do not want it running very much, so watch.
- My putter is 32 inches long and this club is 36, so I am going to put my hands the same distance from the ground that they would be if I was using my putter, so I am choking down four inches.
- Second of all I have my putting grip not my regular full swing grip.
- I walk in and I set the club behind the ball and the club is sitting on the toe because I am matching my wedge lie angle to what my putter lie angle will be. The ball is centered on the face but the club is sitting on the toe.
- I am it, I spread my feet as I would when I putt and one of those variables is that I lean myself forward of a normal putting position. Why? That is going to allow me to hit down on the ball a little bit. Why is that important? Because if you do not hit down the ball does not go up with an iron so that is really important to the success of this shot.
- I lean and I make a putting stroke. That ball as you can see when it hit the green it was a real, real slow roller.
Facing a Downward Slope
Where does that tell you that it would work very well in golf? That answer is when you hit it long and you are going down slope. You do not need to add speed to the stroke, you need to subtract speed. So a putt chip. How does it vary from a regular chip chip? A chip chip is a regular grip with a chipping club from a slightly open position, using a little bit of wrist going back and coming down and it provides the ball with a lot more power and speed. The putt chip is a putting set up with a chipping club and you lean your body slightly forward to allow the club to tap down to pop the ball up with a dead roll. This is a major stroke saver if and when you learn now to do it correctly.