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Chipping from 50 yrds in


Handy
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I started playing about a 3 yrs ago. I basically use this method with my 3 wedges using the same swing (front hand just passes back hip so 1/3ish swing):

 

SW(56) -  30-40 yards

AW(50) - 50-60 yards

PW(44) - 70-80 yard

 

these are standard for normal shots. I adjust for elevation/high wind/if greens are extreme on speed (super slow fast). For example a 50 yard chip over a bunker with a pin just behind it, I will switch to a SW for loft and ideally more spin to get it close. I know I need a little more off my normal chip swing so I adjust how far I go back in my swing with an experienced guess because I have a feel and know my full swing distance (85 -90 yards max).

 

Under 30 yards, I use sand wedge if I have vertical clearance, others 8i. But under 30 it’s all touch. For chips under 10 yards I go to a “putting” like chipping style with stiff wrists locking in the loft based on what I want to do (roll out vs flop).

I’m around a 20 - 21 hcp because I am a terrible putter (working hard on that) but chipping it the most consistent part of my game and it definitely keeps my score down. When all the other parts of my game are working I can get in the high/mid 80s but it has been a slow start to this year for my total game.

 

 

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On 6/22/2022 at 9:15 AM, Handy said:

I struggle with my chipping. More often than not I come up short. I might get just on the greens or up to the edge. When I try taking a bigger swing quite often I will send it over the greens. I use a 9 iron because I get the best results with it but as said I cone up short. So any tips on how to play chipping, like ball placement, stance- how far apart feet, best club /iron to use,  club angle - handle leaning toward the target?? I know I probably just have to spend the money and get lessons for chipping but any suggestions for now would be appreciated.

Thanks 

 

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Larry A. Merrick 

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As always, lots of great suggestions based on experiences.  You have to find the wedge that is going to work for you, based on the type of conditions that you are playing.  I play on greens that have a lot of false fronts and I have to focus on a lot of full shots in to the green.  My coach is constantly reminding me to ensure that I take hands back to nine o'clock.  When I do not I normally end up short of the green.  If I hit it solid, I get a lucky bounce and the ball lands in a good position on the green, if the fronts have not been watered when we play.  I know my wedges and just have to trust them and let that little bird inside tell me whether to go low or high.  I warm up with these shots before I go out.  Want to get a feel for the clubs.  Most just warm up with the driver, but I like to warm up with the scoring club as well.  Just more food for thought.  

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On 6/22/2022 at 9:15 AM, Handy said:

I struggle with my chipping. More often than not I come up short. I might get just on the greens or up to the edge. When I try taking a bigger swing quite often I will send it over the greens. I use a 9 iron because I get the best results with it but as said I cone up short. So any tips on how to play chipping, like ball placement, stance- how far apart feet, best club /iron to use,  club angle - handle leaning toward the target?? I know I probably just have to spend the money and get lessons for chipping but any suggestions for now would be appreciated.

Thanks 

Check out Dave Pelz book, "Short Game Bible".  In it he recommends a 'positions of the clock' approach for wedges.  I have found that irons 5i through LW can be applied to this positions of the clock approach.  I have even gone to the driving range to work out distances for each of these clubs based on the back swing used (clock) and put them on a pocket reference card.  The approach even works for woods and hybrids and increases accuracy with softer swings.

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4 hours ago, ChuckZ said:

As always, lots of great suggestions based on experiences.  You have to find the wedge that is going to work for you, based on the type of conditions that you are playing.  I play on greens that have a lot of false fronts and I have to focus on a lot of full shots in to the green.  My coach is constantly reminding me to ensure that I take hands back to nine o'clock.  When I do not I normally end up short of the green.  If I hit it solid, I get a lucky bounce and the ball lands in a good position on the green, if the fronts have not been watered when we play.  I know my wedges and just have to trust them and let that little bird inside tell me whether to go low or high.  I warm up with these shots before I go out.  Want to get a feel for the clubs.  Most just warm up with the driver, but I like to warm up with the scoring club as well.  Just more food for thought.  

On any range down here you will see the Motel Package crowd with free range balls. Most only hit the driver to see how far they can hit it. My warm up routine has always been like this whether I am just playing or playing an event. I mostly hit wedges to loosen myself up and being a feel player to time myself up. If I can time myself up with the wedges then I am usually ok. These days I may hit a couple with like the 7 iron and the 9 wood but that is it

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9 minutes ago, BIG STU said:

On any range down here you will see the Motel Package crowd with free range balls. Most only hit the driver to see how far they can hit it. My warm up routine has always been like this whether I am just playing or playing an event. I mostly hit wedges to loosen myself up and being a feel player to time myself up. If I can time myself up with the wedges then I am usually ok. These days I may hit a couple with like the 7 iron and the 9 wood but that is it

 

... I do NOT welcome you to the bad back club as it is a membership nobody should need. I rarely warm up as I know my back can only take so many swings and I save them for the course. Occasionally when struggling I will hit 10-20 balls max to time myself better with wedges a few irons and a couple of driver swings. But normally it is some stretching, jumping jacks to get the blood flowing and several air swings and then I am good to go. I find the first few holes can be a little off but I have also started with 3 birdies so it is what it is. 

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13 minutes ago, chisag said:

 

... I do NOT welcome you to the bad back club as it is a membership nobody should need. I rarely warm up as I know my back can only take so many swings and I save them for the course. Occasionally when struggling I will hit 10-20 balls max to time myself better with wedges a few irons and a couple of driver swings. But normally it is some stretching, jumping jacks to get the blood flowing and several air swings and then I am good to go. I find the first few holes can be a little off but I have also started with 3 birdies so it is what it is. 

Oh yes trust me I do not get real jiggy on the warm up. I do a lot of stretching plus resistance bands. Other than my 10 balls hit with each hand one handed with a wedge I may hit maybe 10 more max. If I feel I have timed it up with a couple then I quit. If I do not time it up then I go on out anyhow. Very rarely do I hit anything other than wedges when practicing. At this stage of life and the bad back I am not going to beat ball after ball. Since I have done my swing changes I have not had any pain. Now when I was doing those changes I did get aggressive and hit about 50 to 100 balls resting every 5 balls every day. I pretty much have that ingrained now so I only hit like 30 or so to stay limber but it is not everyday.

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Chipping vs. pitching.  If you're " swinging harder" you might also be breaking wrists more and therefore moving to pitching stroke which require a slightly different approach, maybe different club.  If the strike quality is good that's be what I'd focus on.

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On 6/30/2022 at 10:20 PM, chisag said:

I find so many variables from wind to pin placements to elevation that dictate how I hit a particular shot from inside 100 yds. How strong is the wind blowing when faced with a 20-70 yd shot into a 15? 20? 25 mph wind? Standing behind the shot I might choose a gw, pw, 9i or even an 8i depending on how strong the wind feels to me and whether it is uphill or downhill. This will also dictate how low I hit the ball and with how much energy.

This sounds like you're describing Dr. Michael Lardon's pre-shot pyramid

I actually have a reasonably similar approach, especially from 50-110 yards. I take into account as many variables as I can to come up with a 'plays like' number in my head. I then go to the nearest full-swing club I would use for that number and calculate whatever percentage down from that I would need. (For example, my SW full-swing is 97. Call it 100 for easy math purposes. I need 85 yards. So I need an 85% SW.)

Admittedly, the only way this works for me is that I've spent A LOT of time dialing in what these percentages feel like. And it helps that by the time you get to 75%, you're probably close to your next club down. Once I'm inside of 75% of my LW, it's much more about the lie and the needed trajectory/roll-out and then it's a lot of feel and creativity. 

Example: guys at my club know I'm a 'get the ball on the ground as soon as possible' kinda guy. I hit a lot of 8i and 9i bump-and-runs. But I had a shot from about 20 yards that had a severe slope right where I'd want to land my 9i. So I hit a low-flight/high-spin, one-hop-and-stop LW that carried the slope and grabbed right next to the hole. All three of my playing partners, at the same time, said, "whoa! where'd that come from?" It's about playing the course, not playing the shot. Having different ways to get the ball to the hole can be useful sometimes 🙂 

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I use my 60 degree for everything 90 yards and in. I’m constantly leaving myself with 40-80 yard shots and as such, I practice them a lot. I just like feeling confident with one club in all those situations.

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On 7/2/2022 at 3:45 PM, chisag said:

I rarely warm up as I know my back can only take so many swings and I save them for the course.

Ok, That would be an interesting thread...  Pre Round Range, or Not?

When I was younger, I tended to play better walking from my car to the first tee... but as I get older, I need some swings to work out the cobwebs that crept in while I was sleeping.  haha.   I would probably be best served to spend the range time at the chipping area, as I'm usually scrambling my a$$ off through the day 🤣.

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18 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

Ok, That would be an interesting thread...  Pre Round Range, or Not?

When I was younger, I tended to play better walking from my car to the first tee... but as I get older, I need some swings to work out the cobwebs that crept in while I was sleeping.  haha.   I would probably be best served to spend the range time at the chipping area, as I'm usually scrambling my a$$ off through the day 🤣.

 

... I hear ya and I would love to warm up before every round as my course has free range balls with a membership. And battling bronchitis the last 3 weeks I only played once a few days ago and the rust, along with general weakness was apparent. But standing in one spot and hitting balls is a recipe for my back to revolt as I do much better staying in constant motion. So I stretch at home before leaving for the course, then stretch and do some jumping jacks before teeing off. I do miss hitting some wedges and at least 5 drivers before moving to the first tee but have learned to accept my limitations. 

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On 6/22/2022 at 8:44 AM, Muckinfiddle said:

Use an 8 iron with the same swing...

Well, tongue in cheek aside, there is some truth and wisdom in this.  Based on my play experience, and observations of others I play with, "short-itis" is a real thing.  A few years ago, one of my Canadian friends in Yuma suggested I "visit the back of the green" more often... as in club down until you're more regularly pin high and past.  

His argument was that most players don't strike the ball consistently and, more often than not, are getting only 90% or less distance than those flushed hits.  Made sense to me, so I started clubbing down.  Now I only have to deal with the 1-2 shots that overshoot the target instead of the 5-7 that previous came up short.  

Certainly need to adjust this approach on greens that have backside hazards, etc., but it's definitely helped me.

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On 7/6/2022 at 6:19 PM, fixyurdivot said:

Well, tongue in cheek aside, there is some truth and wisdom in this.  Based on my play experience, and observations of others I play with, "short-itis" is a real thing.  A few years ago, one of my Canadian friends in Yuma suggested I "visit the back of the green" more often... as in club down until you're more regularly pin high and past.  

His argument was that most players don't strike the ball consistently and, more often than not, are getting only 90% or less distance than those flushed hits.  Made sense to me, so I started clubbing down.  Now I only have to deal with the 1-2 shots that overshoot the target instead of the 5-7 that previous came up short.  

Certainly need to adjust this approach on greens that have backside hazards, etc., but it's definitely helped me.

I wasn't really joking. Many people use different irons to chip. I think there is a percentage calculator of "fly to roll" out there on this but I don't how it can relate to the roll of every green.

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Anything from a 100 yards in takes practice as it requires finesse and touch to hit good pitch and chip shots. For me I use my 56 degree wedge from 110 yards and in. But I also practice a lot with my wedges to develop that touch. I would say start with a pitching wedge and move down from there and find which wedge you can rely on for the majority of your chips. But it will require some work at the range in order to do that. 

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Surprised no one has yet suggested using a putter.  As long as there is no tall grass in the way, it’s the easiest club to control — and the safest — your worst putt will be nowhere near as bad as a chunked or bladed pitch or chip.  In Ireland or at Bandon Dunes, I’ll putt from as far as 70 yards out.   Like any other shot, it takes some practice, but if a short shot from a tight lie gives you indigestion, this is the remedy.

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On 6/23/2022 at 2:15 AM, Handy said:

I struggle with my chipping. More often than not I come up short. I might get just on the greens or up to the edge. When I try taking a bigger swing quite often I will send it over the greens. I use a 9 iron because I get the best results with it but as said I cone up short. So any tips on how to play chipping, like ball placement, stance- how far apart feet, best club /iron to use,  club angle - handle leaning toward the target?? I know I probably just have to spend the money and get lessons for chipping but any suggestions for now would be appreciated.

Thanks 

Hi, I watched a utube video that Bryson D did just yesterday where he showed how to do the chips your talking about. Sorry I don’t know how to add the link but search on google and I’m sure you will find it, I watched it on my TV but intend to find it on my tablet for future reference. Good luck or someone may already have done it…

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Some more great suggestions, fix u r divot you might have identified the virus I have short-itis. I have had my share of scalding the ball across the green because of not getting under it to flop on the greens. So that makes me slow down the swing in hopes of not hitting past the green and try chipping back again.

Thanks Bang60 I will try find that vedio.

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4 hours ago, Handy said:

Some more great suggestions, fix u r divot you might have identified the virus I have short-itis. I have had my share of scalding the ball across the green because of not getting under it to flop on the greens. So that makes me slow down the swing in hopes of not hitting past the green and try chipping back again.

Thanks Bang60 I will try find that vedio.

Well, that could be part of the problem.  This shot has to have some acceleration to it.  The amount depends on the length of the shot, what club you are using, and length of backswing.  Acceleration is key to the shot.  Until your skill level allows you to consistently get the ball on the green and about the correct distance, "flopping" the ball on the green should not be your option unless it's absolutely the only shot available.  

There is no "getting under it".  If you are trying to "help" the ball into the air, that leads to lots of bad things, one of which is "short-itis".  The shot should be smooth like a putt.  You don't try to get under the ball with the putter, and it's the same shot with a club that you feel most comfortable with hitting the correct distance.   That comes with practice and experience on your course.

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8 hours ago, Kenny B said:

Well, that could be part of the problem.  This shot has to have some acceleration to it.  The amount depends on the length of the shot, what club you are using, and length of backswing.  Acceleration is key to the shot.  Until your skill level allows you to consistently get the ball on the green and about the correct distance, "flopping" the ball on the green should not be your option unless it's absolutely the only shot available.  

There is no "getting under it".  If you are trying to "help" the ball into the air, that leads to lots of bad things, one of which is "short-itis".  The shot should be smooth like a putt.  You don't try to get under the ball with the putter, and it's the same shot with a club that you feel most comfortable with hitting the correct distance.   That comes with practice and experience on your course.

Exactly. 

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