While the notion of striking shots stacked with backspin is an enticing one, there are times when you need the ball to release forward, up to the hole. Learning to take backspin off a chip shot is, if anything, a more important skill than adding it.
Club: Any wedge
Rhythm: Smooth, and quiet
Key concept: Play a mini-hook
Think ‘neutral‘, the club in the position its designer intended and the ball postion consequently central.
Play the ball under your shirt buttons in what I’d call a neutral position – neither forward nor back. You will find this easily if you simply sit the club in its natural, designed position. It’s a ball position that lends itself to the rotational back-and-through motion this shot needs.
Square the blade – in other words, use the club’s natural loft. This is in keeping with letting the club’s design lead your address position. A more powerful alignment than the open face, it also allows you to play the shot with a quieter, spin-reducing action.
Let the club’s design dictate your set-up. When you sit the sole flush on the ground, you’ll see it’s design places your hands slightly ahead of the ball. That’s perfect for this shot.
Let your chest control the motion through impact; feel your arms are simply responding to its rotation. Using the big torso muscles to control your action will lend your motion through impact a soft and rhythmic quality. Get this right and you will also feel your forearms rotating as the throughswing progresses.
Just take another look at those set-up positions for a moment; focus on the relationship between the clubface, shaft, hands and body. A key swing thought for this running out shot is to keep that relationship intact throughout your action. By the end of the swing, those four elements should still inter-relate just as they did as you addressed the ball.
By the end of the swing, the toe of your wedge should face upwards. This is not flipping the face, or rolling it shut, but a sign your forearms have rotated in harmony with your turning upper body. Make a few practice swings with right hand only to help reinforce the correct rotational feeling.