Controlling your ball flight when chipping
Roly Hitchcock, the golf manager at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa, located on the Suffolk-Essex border, is a highly-respected teacher. Here, he shares some secrets to success with the short game...
The trajectory of the golf ball dictates the outcome of your shot. If you can control the flight of the ball then you can control the distance your shots will go. The lower the ball flies the further it will run along the ground - much like an aeroplane coming into land at great speed, it takes time to stop. If a golf ball was to generate height in its trajectory then it would not roll very far when it hits the ground, much like a helicopter that drops almost vertically from the sky and stops.
So roll of the golf ball on landing is determined by the loft of the golf club at impact. If you hit a chip with a three iron, it will run further compared to playing a shot with a sand wedge due to the 35 degrees difference in loft. This can also be manipulated when using one club as shown in the video below.
When playing a chip or pitch shot you need the bounce of the club to work for you properly and this is best achieved with the shaft of the club in an upright position (pic 1), producing more loft. When the shaft is leaning forward (pic 2), you are decreasing the loft on the club and the leading edge of the club could dig into the ground, which is a common fault in wet conditions.
When playing any short game short the main key areas to cover are (for a right handed golfer);
- Bodyweight slightly favouring the left side, with your sternum slightly in front of the ball.
- Shaft vertical at address.
- When swinging the club make sure your bodyweight stays in this position but rotate your shoulders and hips to allow the golf club to move. Keep the hands and wrists out of the shot.
This will allow you to return to your starting position, and hopefully you will be able to do this one day.
For more information or to contact Roly Hitchcock please visit www.stokebynayland.com