The downhill chip shot it something that a lot of golfers really fear. In the video and article below, Golf Monthly Top 50 coach and PGA Pro Dan Grieve shares his expert advice that will remove the intimidation factor once and for all.
I understand why this situation poses amateurs problems, but with a few simple set-up changes, you'll quickly realise there's nothing to worry about at all.
The biggest problem here is that players fail to adapt to the slope. So they'll get into a nice set-up position with a narrow stance and ignore the fact this isn't a normal chip shot they're facing. What's then going to happen is that the downswing is going to be too shallow, making it really difficult to make consistently good contact. So the angle of attack isn't steep enough for the lie and slope.
The key is adapting and making some nice changes to your set-up. The first thing to check is the severity of the slope. The steeper the slope, the wider you need to stand. In the video above I'm on a really steep slope, so I'm going to get almost driver width in my set-up. That's going to allow me to put much more weight on my lead side.
From there, I want you to think about ball position and the upper body. You want to have the ball just back from the centre of your stance and feel like your chest bone is six or seven inches ahead of the ball.
That will encourage the club to swing up rather than around on the backswing, and then down the angle of the slope into impact. It's really important not to rotate as you normally would on a chip shot, just feel like you're keeping all your pressure on your lead leg and finish nice and short with the butt of the grip pointing somewhere near your left hip in the follow-through.
The other point to note is that it helps to use a little bit more loft. In the video I've opted for a 60-degree wedge because the slope is going to make the ball come out much lower and I want to offset that with extra loft. The bounce on this wedge will also help the club get through the ball, especially if the lie is a little heavy. Give this a go and improve your downslope chipping.
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Location: Woburn GC
Dan is one of the leading coaches in the UK, a Fellow of the PGA and a short-game virtuoso. He has had considerable success with a collection of tour pros, helping them to Order of Merit titles and major victories, and his Short Game School is the most attended in the UK. His students, past and present, include Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Inci Mehmet and Iona Stephen.
Most common problem:
Swing – over the top , help by getting the basics correct at address and making them aware how to get the club online coming down.
Short game – creating spin and feel around the greens, help by educating on what the short game actually is (weak on purpose) and understand bounce and how they can apply it to different lies/situations.
Greatest success story:
Helping Georgia Hall from World No. 450 to No. 6 and winning a Major, two Order of Merits and Solheim Cup appearances.
Alex Hay was a great influence during my first few years at Woburn. In sport more generally Sir Clive Woodward has taught me how to deliver at the highest level.
Most common fault:
Flipped right hand (hands behind the ball). Understand a correct coil/load going back and how to sequence better coming down so the chest opens up and gives the arms space to deliver a stronger impact. Lots of body action drills to enhance the feel, with and without the ball.
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