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6 Short-game Solutions for Saving Par - Chipping from the short side
Created on 1/1/2009 12:00:00 PM

How to get out of the worst greenside jams

If the best players in the world hit only 12 or 13 greens a round in regulation, how many are you hitting? The reality of golf is that you're going to miss a lot of greens. But when you do, there's still a chance to save par if you have a good plan and the confidence to execute it. When I do playing lessons, I've noticed there are six short-game situations that give amateurs the most trouble. Whether it's anxiety or a lack of knowhow, amateurs tend to turn pars into double bogeys when they face these shots. With some practice, you can reverse that trend.

Chipping from the short side
When the ball is close to the hole and sitting down in the rough, it's too risky to try to chip it out- there's no room for error-and putting is out of the question. Instead, play a miniature bunker shot so the ball comes out high and lands soft, trickling only a few feet before stopping. One caveat: You have to have the guts to make a half swing from just a few yards off the green.

How to: To hit this little shot, open the face of your sand wedge (right), as you would on a greenside bunker shot, and lower the shaft closer to the ground. When you swing, the goal is to keep the face open and allow the trailing edge of the club to slide through the grass on a shallow angle starting behind the ball. Acceleration is the key.

Golf Digest January 2009


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