Lesson TeeMay 12, 2010

Get Creative Around The Green

Practice chipping with several different clubs

Most amateurs I play with in pro-ams have a favorite club they use for all their shots around the green, and it's typically one with a lot of loft, like a pitching or sand wedge. This works well when the lie is a little fluffy and the design of the green calls for a high, fast-stopping shot. But it's far from ideal for all greenside chips and pitches. The key to a good short game is to chip with different clubs and pick the shot option that best suits each situation.

When I was growing up, my coach, Rafael Alarcon, had me practice chipping with every iron in my bag. From the same spot, I might have played three shots with my sand wedge, then three each with my 9-iron, 7-iron and 5-iron.

This taught me great creativity and gave me the confidence to vary my shots depending on what I need to do. I now have a variety of trustworthy options for every chip or pitch I face.

*Lorena Ochoa writes instruction articles only for Golf Digest. *