Chipping from tight lies
When we’re playing on links golf courses, the lies tend to be very bare, with hardly any grass underneath the ball. Here on the 13th hole, we’re faced with a situation where we’ve got to loft the ball over a bunker from a very bare lie. The danger is catching the ground before the ball, which will close the clubface and reduce the power, meaning I’ll chunk it into the bunker. By raising the heel of the club, we can eliminate that risk.
Raise the heel off the ground
Use a lofted club, like a 60° lob wedge and raise the heel so it sits off the ground. You don’t need this shot to go flying high into the air; you just need enough height to carry the bunker and then release to the hole. The natural loft of the club is enough, so you don’t need to open your stance and shoulders the way you would with a high flop shot. Draw your left foot back just a little, but keep everything else square to the target.
Use a putting stroke
Keep your wrists steady and make a short, pendulum stroke, similar to your putting stroke. This will help you get consistency from tight lies, particularly when you’re in a tricky spot and may be feeling anxious.
Keep the grip ahead
Push the grip slightly ahead of the clubhead, and make sure it stays ahead throughout the entire stroke. Imagine there’s a race going on between the grip and the clubhead. If the head wins, you’ll thin the ball or hit it heavy. Making sure the grip wins the race ensures a good contact and crisp strike.