Handling Chipping Areas
Chipping areas, like this one behind the 10th green at Bethpage Black, have been added to several U.S. Open courses -- and other courses everywhere. The pros this year will face the same issue amateurs do in these spots: choosing the right shot.One modern-day option is chipping with a hybrid, which was popularized by Todd Hamilton when he won the 2004 British Open using this shot. It might be the safest play, but it doesn't guarantee success. The idea is to stroke the ball almost like a putt, skidding it up the slope and onto the green. Beware: It takes practice.Many players, especially European pros, prefer the old Scottish-style bump-and-run, where you play the ball back in your stance and bump a short iron into the slope. The ball bounces two or three times and rolls onto the green. The lofted wedge is the first choice of many players, but it's the riskiest. You have to fly the ball to the green's edge and stop it fast. It's fun when you pull it off, but there's no room for error. Try them all, then choose wisely.