We travel to Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest for this edition of Tee It Up Grand Strand. As always our good friend, Blake Valand, is giving us a golf tip. Blake is the 1st assistant professional at Cape Fear. Each month he has a tip or two for hitting different types of shots that golfers encounter during their round at Cape Fear National. Let’s see what he has in store for us today.
Blake is talking about how to hit a chip shot that a lot of PGA Tour players use. It gets a lot of spin on the ball which allows for more control of the shot and to get the ball to stop on the green where they want it to. It is a difficult shot to execute at first, but with practice and work at the practice range, the confidence to pull it off during a round will come sooner than later.
Many of the Tour players use the “bounce” of the club or the bottom flange on the club to produce spin. This shot is used for a shorter chip shot. Typically it would be used when the golfer only wants the ball to travel 20-30 feet or so. We don’t want much rollout once the ball lands on the putting surface. It is a delicate shot to be sure. That is where the practice comes into play.
The setup for the shot is very similar to that of a bunker shot. We want to keep our weight on the front foot and the ball should be placed in the front part of our stance. Next Blake tells us that the clubface needs to be slightly open at pointing straight at the target. Then line the body up slightly to the left (for right handed golfers) because with the open clubface the ball will come off the face slightly away from the body.
The point of impact is important to the success of this shot. Meaning that how clubhead passes under that ball determines the spin put on the ball which allows for less roll out once it lands. Blake emphasizes that we do not want to take a divot on this shot. The club needs to slide across the grass under the ball. There really should not be much of a club mark on the grass at all. It is a smooth, firm, confident stroke through the ball that sends the ball high enough that he it will land soft with spin.
Remember what Blake said. This shot needs to be practice before taking it out onto the course. But once golfers become comfortable with it, it can be a stroke saving tool.