124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Spin and speed

PGA Tour winner reveals short game 'secret' that 'every pro uses'

November 01, 2022

The nature of being an amateur golfer means we're not hitting as many greens in regulation as the best players in the world.

Sure, the goal is always to hit more of them, but the reality is no matter how much we improve from tee-to-green, we'll be left with plenty of chips and pitches. Our ability to shoot good scores along the way in many ways depends on our ability to get up-and-down.

It's why improving your pitching should be high on the priority list of any amateur golfer hoping to improve this offseason. And to help with that is PGA Tour winner Parker McLachlin, who nowadays spends his time teaching and putting some great content out on his Instagram channel "short game chef."

One of his recent tips that caught my eye was on the subject of speed and spin on pitch shots.

"Every PGA Tour player understands how to deliver speed on their pitch shots," McLachlin says. "They're understanding where they need to deliver speed so they can use spin."

Here's what he says that means in practice.

The tour player's secret: Knowing how to apply speed on chips

In his Instagram video, which you can watch in full below, McLachlin says that the size of your swing will determine the speed of your swing, which in turn will dictate the amount of spin you generate. More spin will help the ball stop faster than a chip with less spin.

The mistake amateur golfers make which pros don't is using a "really short backswing and really long follow through," which McLachlin says sends the ball too low, with too little swing, and probably too much power than you need for the shot at hand.

An example of the mistake:


Instead, For a lower-spinning chip, McLachlin says to keep your backswing and follow through about the same length—both waist high.


For a higher-spinning chip, which McLachlin notes is a difficult shot that will require some technical skill, you need to nip the ball with an open clubface, using a longer backswing and shorter follow through. That will generate more speed, and therefore spin.


"They'll be able to deliver the speed in the right spot, accessing more spin when they need it," he says

Watch the full video here: