Peter Dawson explains how to control your greenside spin and play both spinning and running chips from the same set-up with just minor changes in execution
How to control your greenside spin with GM Top 25 Coach, Peter Dawson
1) Set-up adjustments Sometimes on a 30-yard chip you will want, or need, your ball to check on landing; sometimes you might prefer it to land and roll out more. I’m going to focus on the checking chip here, but also explain how you can play more of a rolling chip with just a couple of minor changes.
Let’s start with the backspinning chip when you need an added degree of control. At set-up, place 55 to 65 per cent of your weight on your front foot with your hands a little forward too, and hold down the grip two or three centimetres.
That extra weight should stay on the front foot throughout as this enhances the angle of descent, allowing you to break your wrists earlier and then come back into the ball at an angle that all but guarantees ball then turf.
2) Firm hands through impact From this address position you just need to remember to firm up your hands a little at impact and keep the clubface square for added backspin and control. The hands stay square and the clubface stays square at impact – it's a very positive shot, in which you should be looking to nip the ball firmly.
3) The running chip Sometimes you will want the ball to run more on landing, and the good news is you can play this alternative shot from exactly the same set-up. This time, though, relax the hands and loosen the grip a little bit through impact, letting the hands roll over a little more in the strike. This will give you more roll rather than check.
4) Common mistakes First and foremost, dirty grooves! Manufacturers spend a lot of time and money creating grooves to help you spin the ball more, but sadly they don’t work if they’re clogged up with dirt. So if you want to play the checking chip, you must keep your grooves clean.
The second main mistake is that although many golfers know they should have their hands forward, they overdo – by miles sometimes! This creates too steep an attack and a real risk of simply digging the leading edge into the ground.
Finally, you’ll recognise the scooping action in our photo here, a common mistake as golfers try to help the ball into the air. Wedges have anything from 46˚ to 64˚ of loft, which is more than enough to do that job for you, so trust the loft. You’ll never play a spinning chip if you scoop at it.
Checklist * Keep 55-65 per cent of your weight on your front foot * Be firm and positive at impact to generate spin * Let hands roll more at impact for a running chip
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