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Step by Step Guide: Chipping Off the Putting Green

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

Rafael Guerrero hits a chip shot at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. PGA of America

It sounds unimaginable to try and chip or pitch the ball from the green surface but believe it or not with a couple very simple steps you can face this extremely tight lie with some confidence.
Start by assuring yourself that the grass isn’t that much shorter than the fairway. Second, if you were to take a small divot, the grass will grow back. Most PGA Coaches would agree that players are more scared of the damage they would inflict rather than the shot itself!
If you are faced with such a situation, follow these specific steps and you’ll have success.
  1. Start with your normal short game setup. Stand square to the target, pick a lofted club, and keep the ball position just front of center in your stance.
  2. Open the clubface by rolling your hands away from the target. Now open your stance just enough that the clubface comes back and points to your target.
  3. Make sure your hands are neutral at address. This means they are right in the middle. Don’t press the shaft forward or lean it backward.
  4. Your path is important. Start the takeaway with your body. Turn and swing the club away keeping the clubhead outside your hands.
  5. Return to the ball cutting across and swinging to left following your open stance.
  6. Feel as if you are striking the ground with the bottom of the golf club. Don’t lean the shaft forward, keep that club vertical at impact.
  7. Follow through with your turn and finish with your trail knee facing the target.
Incorporating the bounce of the golf club is vital to your success. By opening the face, swinging across the ball, and turning your body you will ensure the bottom of the club strikes the green surface. This will launch the ball softly into the air and create the shot desired. It takes courage to use that bounce, but with some practice you’ll be fearless and ready!
Pitch it off the green? Setup to use the bounce.
  1. Start by opening the clubface and your stance.
  2. Turn and swing the club away keeping the clubhead outside your hands.
  3. Feel as if you are striking the ground with the bottom of the clubhead. Don’t lean the shaft, keep it vertical at impact.
Follow through and finish with your trail knee facing the target. It takes courage to use that
bounce, but with some practice you’ll be up to the challenge.
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