124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Playing Tomorrow? Here's How to Hit a Foolproof Chip

utley chip.jpg

It's the 18th hole, and you're all square with your buddy on the match. You don't miss the green by much, but you have a lie in the rough and a pressure-packed downhill chip.

What do you do?

First, don't go hero.

Resist to the temptation to hit a shot you've never tried before, like a high-speed flop shot or a first-time bump-and-run with a hybrid.

The closer you can make any shot to your "stock" chip, the better you're going to perform -- whether it's on the first hole or the 18th.

Stan Utley's advice? Keep your spine straight up and down, and play the ball in the center of your stance. Keep your weight forward and your head in the same place throughout the swing and you'll make it way easier to keep the bottom of the swing in the same place.

With a consistent bottom, you take those fats and blades out of the equation.

It's obviously the goal to chip it close, but giving yourself a reasonable chance to make a 10- or 15-footer is fine, too. Stubbing it or blading it across the green pretty much takes away your chance to win.