PLAY YOUR BEST

How to make your chip shots land soft and stop fast

By Butch Harmon  

Butch Harmon. Photo by J.D. Cuban

Your ball rolls through the green, just far enough so you really can’t putt it. You need a little drop shot that lands softly and creeps to the hole. Nervous? Don’t be. With the right setup and a couple swing keys, you’ve got this shot.

Use your most lofted wedge and open the clubface before you take your grip. Gripping first and then turning the face open won’t add loft, because your hands will tend to rotate back to their starting position. Next, play the ball forward and set more weight on your front foot. Now you’re in position to make a downward strike and slide the face under the ball.

Swing back a little steeper with some wrist hinge and start the downswing by gently kicking your trail knee toward the target. That little knee kick will release your lower body forward, which keeps the weight on the front foot and helps the face stay open throughout the swing.

With the ball forward, you’ll touch down a fraction behind it, which is fine—as long as the face is open, the clubhead will slide through. Keep your wrists firm and the knuckles on your top hand pointing up. Commit to the swing, and let the loft do its thing. — With Peter Morrice

TIPS FROM THE TOP

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