lesson teeJune 23, 2015

The Easiest Chip Shot

Putting with your 5-iron is a great play

Here's an effective way to chip when you don't need to carry the ball a long distance or there's sketchy grass between you and the green. In these cases, your best chance at success will come from chipping with a putting stroke. Ray Floyd mastered this shot, and I've used his technique extensively at the British Open.

Ray would take his 5-iron, slide his hands down the grip and lean the shaft forward. His weight favored his left foot. Then he would use his putting stroke to pop the ball on the green and get it rolling to the hole.

This swing takes the wrists out of the shot, making it easier to hit the ball solidly. And using your putting stroke improves feel and helps you control distance. Try this high-percentage play.

ELEMENTARY WATSON

As you'll see at St. Andrews, playing in the British Open means braving windy conditions. Whether you turn the ball into a crosswind or let it ride the wind, people forget that the ball will bounce and roll in the direction the wind is blowing. You have to plan for that.

Photographs by J.D. Cuban at The Grand Golf Club, San Diego.