We have all heard during our short game lessons that you should get the ball rolling on the green as soon as possible.
We have heard it from our golfing buddies to your local PGA Professional.
However, is it always a good idea to get the ball rolling as soon as possible and why is everyone so emphatic that this happens?
Once you have missed the green, you first must decide which type of shot you need to hit. Should you hit a chip shot or a pitch shot?
Here are the questions that you need to be asking yourself to get the most from your chipping lesson to determine what type of shot you need to perform:
- What does your lie look like? You hear this all of the time, especially on TV. What they are basically referring to is how much of the back of the golf ball can you see or will be able to get the clubface to the ball without any grass interfering between the two. This will be one of the factors that determines whether you end up chipping or pitching the ball onto the putting green.
- What is the distance to the putting green and to the hole? You will need to factor the distance off the green as well as the distance from the edge of the green to the flag. Keeping in mind that the ball will be flying low and rolling out quite a distance once it hits the green, the farther off the green you find yourself then the more green you will need to work with on the shot.
- Is the putting green going uphill or downhill where you want to land the ball? You must realize not all putting greens are created equal. Rarely will you have a straight or flat chip to the hole. This means that the slopes and undulations on the putting green will not only affect the roll of your chip but maybe your shot selection as well. If you are looking to land your ball on a spot that has severe slope to it, you may want to change that spot to a flatter one, if available. This could change the type of shot you are going to need to make. However, it is much easier to control how far your ball will roll when it lands on a flat surface.
- If the ball does not go in the hole, where do you want the ball to finish? There are really two sides to this. Most players understand that you want to have the ball stop close to the hole. True. However, what most players do not understand is that you also would like to have the remainder be an UPHILL putt. Why? Would you want a three foot uphill or a three foot downhill putt? Without question, the answer is I want an uphill putt.
Have we answered the question “Where should you use a chip shot or a pitch shot?”
The answer lies in the spot you are attempting to land the golf ball.
If it is on a severe slope you are better off to pick out a spot that is flatter and you can better control the roll of the golf ball once it hits the putting green.
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