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So much spin

Tiger Woods' incredible 'high ripper' chip shot, explained

February 03, 2023
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All right, so listen, I have an obligation to tell you that if you're serious about getting better around the greens this season, you should probably leave any attempts at hitting this shot. Go for a safe and no-nonsense shot, like a bump-and-run.

But if you're looking for something that will on occasion make you look way cooler than you actually are, then you're in the righr place. Allow us to introduce you to Tiger Woods' "high ripper" shot.

You can see him explain it below as part of Golf Digest's My Game series with him (you can watch all Tiger's episodes right here). It's a shot he uses on the rare occasions that he has a perfect lie from the fairway but needs to fly the ball all the way to—or past—the pin, perhaps because of a slope or some other obstacle.

How to hit the 'High Ripper'

When executed correctly, the combination of more speed, a tight lie, and an open clubface means huge amount of backspin, as Tiger shows below.

It's an impossibly cool, incredibly impressive shot if you can pull it off. "If" being the operative word in that sentence, because again, there are all sorts of things that could go wrong. You need to hit the ball exactly perfectly. There's simply not much room for error: catch it a little thin and it's probably sailing way over the green; a little fat means a flub that end a few yards in front of you.

But again, those may be the risks you'll be willing to take if you want to look cool. So if you want to try, here's what you need to do, according to Tiger himself:

  1. "Move [the ball position] up on my left toe."
  2. "Open the stance, open the clubface."
  3. "Swing more left. I want to feel really long on my left side."

That third point is important. You'll need to generate some speed to hit this shot, and get the backspin you're looking for.

Good luck, and if you don't end up looking as cool as Tiger, don't say we didn't warn you.