How to control spin around the greens
1) Set-up basics
On occasions, you will need or want the ball to check up on landing from a 20-40-yard chip shot. I’m going to talk you through my step by step guide on how to do just that. However, I will also explain how you can play more of a chip and run with just a couple of small changes.
Let’s start with the “checking” chip when you need an added degree of control with your chip shots. At your address position, place 60 to 70% of your weight on your leading foot with your hands a pointing towards your leading hip too, and hold down the grip two or three centimetres.
You should aim to keep that extra weight on your leading foot whilst you execute the chip as this enhances the angle of descent, allowing you to cock your wrists slightly earlier and then come back into the ball at an angle that all but guarantees ball then turf.
2) Keep the hands firm through impact
From the address position I have just gone through with you. You’ll just need to remember to keep your hands firm through impact and keep the clubface square for added backspin and control. The hands and clubface stay square at impact – it’s a very confident and positive golf shot, in which you should be looking to clip the ball firmly from the surface. Feel like you are accelerating through impact and this will help you stay confident through the shot.
The main cause of duff or poor chips is when you decelerate and then it becomes a negative shot.
You must be firm and confident through impact to generate spin
3) The chip & run
Sometimes you will want the ball to run and release more on landing, depending on the type of scenario you are in. The good news is you can play this chip & run shot from exactly the same set-up. However, just relax the hands and the grip a bit through impact, this will then allow the hands to release and roll over a little more through impact. This will give you more roll rather than check.
4) Common mistakes made
Firstly, you must make sure you have clean grooves! Dirty grooves will generate ZERO spin and the ball has nothing to grab hold of has it’s rolling up the clubface. Companies spend a lot of time and money creating grooves to help you spin the ball more, but unfortunately they won’t work if they are filled up with mud and grass. So if you want to play the checking chip shot, you must keep your grooves clean! Try and clean your grooves and club after every golf shot, then you won’t have to worry about it.
The second common mistake I see is that although many golfers know they should have their hands forward, they highly exaggerate this at times. This will then create a very steep angle of attack and just increase the risk of just simply ploughing the club into the ground.
Finally, I’m sure you have all seen the golfer that tries to scoop the ball into the air! If you haven’t, then maybe it’s you!
This is a common mistake as golfers try to help get the ball into the air. Wedges can have anything from 46˚ to 64˚ of loft, which is plenty to get the ball up in the air and do what you want it to do. Also, if you scoop at the ball, you will NEVER be able to hit the checking chip shot.
Keep 60-70% of your weight on your leading foot
Be firm and confident at impact to generate spin
Let hands roll more at impact for a chip & run