October 4, 2007

Sweep uphill chips

Your club's approach should follow the angle of the slope

YES: Take the club back low and then swing along the slope.

YES: Take the club back low and then swing along the slope.

Leadbetter

When playing a course with elevated greens, you'll frequently find yourself chipping from an upslope to save par. But a normal chipping stroke, where you hinge your wrists and then make a steep, downward strike, can result in hitting a fat shot that comes up short. Simply put, the club gets stuck in the ground.

For this common short-game situation, you need to sweep the ball off the slope, not hit into it. I recommend taking a less-lofted club--the upslope will help get the ball in the air--and then making a swing that goes from low to high. In other words, the backswing should stay low to the ground, but the through-swing should move upward along the slope.

You'll make a clean hit, picking the ball off the grass. And when it lands on the green, it will usually roll, and not check up. That's because the sweeping action makes the ball come off the club with less backspin.