I learned to chip as a kid by practicing endlessly in my back yard. I chipped with one club--a sand wedge--and when it came time to chip the ball low, I seldom bothered going to the garage to get my 8- or 9-iron. I simply learned to hit it low with my sand wedge, and the technique I discovered helps me to this day.
Start by playing the ball back in your stance, off the toe of your rear foot. At address, aim the clubface at the target, and position your hands well forward, in line with your front leg. That will effectively decrease the loft on your sand wedge. The backswing consists of a simple breaking of the wrists, with very little movement in your arms. On the downswing, accelerate your hands through to the finish, making sure you don't uncock your wrists. The ball will come out low, check a bit when it hits the green, and then run toward the hole.
- The instruction in this article was adapted from "Phil Mickelson: Secrets of the Short Game." The DVD will be available in April. For more information, click www.golfdigestshop.com*
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