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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Jimmy Walker on Chipping with the 60-Degree Wedge

The reason I'm posting this is because Jimmy Walker is unusual. As he says in this Golf Digest post about doing ALL his chipping with his 60, "My coach, Butch Harmon, says I'm the only tour player he's ever taught who uses this approach, but Butch hasn't tried to change me because I've gotten good at leaning on my 60."

Jimmy Wlker with his wedge

And yes, Jimmy Walker uses his 60-degree wedge for ALL his short game shots, not just his chipping. I bring this up simply because many of you are frustrated, trying to learn several different clubs for each of your short game shots. If your time -- and perhaps your patience -- is limited, focus on learning to make a lot of your short game shots with just one club. (And it might not be the 60. You can do a lot with a 52 or 56 if you just work at it.)

But since Jimmy's talking about the 60, let's focus on that in this post.

First, he says that Butch gave him some very general advice -- namely, swing through to the target more, cut across the ball less. Most of us have been told to open our stances with the short clubs and swing across the target line. But you may find (like Jimmy) that you're better if you avoid doing that.

Note that Jimmy says he uses a SQUARE stance for flop shots and flips his hands and wrists at impact to get the ball up. That's going to take some practice for most of us. But note again that Jimmy is using a square stance. That eliminates one variable in your swing because you're swinging toward the target.

For a low running chip, Jimmy uses a CLOSED stance and feels as if he hits a baby hook to keep the ball low -- hands slightly forward at address and swings along his foot line (he's closed, so that makes him swing from the inside).

And the rest of the time he just sets up SQUARE and makes a wristless putting motion. (Well, he says it's wristless most of the time.) He just adjusts his ball position to hit the ball higher or lower.

If your short game is giving you fits and you're trying to use a lot of different clubs around the green, you might want to try simplifying your game by using just one club for those shots. Even if you can't do everything with just one club -- you're not gonna hit many flop shots with a 52 -- the goal is to make more good shots and fewer bad ones. It sure seems to work for Jimmy.


  1. Martin Hall uses closed stance for longer bunker shots