Life Beyond The Basic Chip Shot
By Erika Larkin on 11/27/13
I have taught a lot of mid to high handicappers that can hit a good basic chip shot (a.k.a. "the bump and run"). However, there are so many situations that just don't fit a cookie-cutter chip shot (i.e. thicker rough, a downhill lie, an elevated green, fast conditions or a short-sided pin). Usually the student doesn't know what to do and just hits what they know hoping they can keep it on the green. OR they get brave and try the only other stock shot they know, the high flop, which doesn't necessarily fit the situation either and is hard to execute even for a better player.
Clearly, there is a lot of gray area in between a basic chip and a high pitch/lob shot that most golfers have no idea how to navigate. However, I believe this gray area is what separates the high/mid handicappers from their more skilled counterparts. If this sounds like you, it's time to expand your arsenal by adding some more variations on the basics. Understand that the following options I describe are negotiable and you can create your own recipe for shots based on what and how much of each you use. That might sound overwhelming, or it might sound wonderful, refreshing and relieving that there is life beyond the basic chip shot (I hope the latter).
Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community, at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine — and she's SkyGolf's newest columnist! She writes on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, e-mail her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!
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