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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Phil's Chipping 101 (Video)

With Phil posting a 60 on Thursday and leading the Desert Classic after Friday's round, it seems like a good time to post his micro-lesson on how to play chip shots.

Please note that Phil plays ALL his chips with a 60° lob wedge. This isn't what most instructors recommend but -- as with all things in golf and most things in life -- there isn't just one way to be successful.

Phil has three basics, as outlined in the video:
  1. Keep your weight on your forward foot
  2. Keep your hands forward
  3. Decide whether to hit the ball high or low
    • Ball in front of back foot to go low
    • Ball in front of forward foot to go high
In addition, he says you can alter the height of the shot by opening or closing the clubface, but he doesn't demonstrate that here. That's probably just as well, since you need to get good at these basics before you start getting cute with the face position. Phil's basic face position is open; I'd call it roughly 45°.

Phil does NOT mention that his stance is slightly open. That causes you to swing a bit out-to-in, which is why you open the clubface. (If you use a square clubface with this technique, you'll pull all your chips.) Just watch the video and you'll see it. That's important to this way of chipping.

He uses the front edge of the wedge more than the bounce, although I should point out that it's much easier to use the bounce on a 60° lob wedge with this technique than when you're using a wedge with less loft (like a 56° sand wedge). With Phil's technique and a lob wedge -- with the face open about 45° -- you're using the front edge for the low shot and the bounce on the high shot.

Should you use this technique instead of a multi-wedge technique? It's all a matter of what you feel comfortable with. Phil has been more successful than many players with his short game simply because he uses the method that he feels most comfortable with. That's a choice you can learn from... and Phil's method is about as simple to remember as any.

You will need some practice to use it well, of course. But isn't that the case with everything in golf?

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