PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

Short Game

Jonathan Byrd: Great Chip!

By Jonathan Byrd Photos by J.D. Cuban
June 05, 2012


With the ball off your back instep, set your wedge behind it. Then reach your lead hand down to your lead kneecap (above, left). This simple trick makes a lot of really good things happen. Your spine tilts forward to dip your front shoulder low, pre-setting the ideal impact position to strike down on the ball. Your knees bend slightly, and your weight shifts to your front leg. Your head nudges closer to the target, too. The club tends to bottom-out under your nose, so now you're in position to make proper ball-first contact, taking a divot after impact.



Because I've set up to the ball exactly the same way I want to hit it, my only thought going back and coming through is Keep the hands solid. This means both of my hands and the grip are like one block carved from stone (above, right). I see a lot of amateurs try a tiny wrist hinge on the backswing, or some other manipulation at impact to help the ball up. They're making the shot too hard. You want as few moving parts as possible. When you eliminate handsy motions, your distance control gets more consistent, leaving you with much shorter putts.