A long greenside chip is where we have plenty of green to work with and generally the more favoured shot is to play it low and utilise the ground. Statistically it is the easier of chips and as there is much more choice of club selection which enables golfers to choose their “go to” shot and some may even choose the putter. More highly skilled players may take more lofted clubs to throw it further and control the spin more removing some contours on the green, but trust me when ‘I say its much easier to hit a target that’s closer to you.
There is no rule of thumb here, but I would recommend going for the club that hits it low enough but doesn’t fly off too quickly. Golfers all tend to have a variation of launch angles when chipping, but I would recommend trying 3 different clubs between your 7 iron and gap wedge to see which is your preferred choice.
- To keep things simple here I would just imagine you were hitting a long putt. Rotation of the shoulders with very little wrist movement in the backstroke and follow through.
- Narrow stance
- Ball position central or just back of centre
- Pressure into lead foot throughout
- Upper and lower body aligned
- Hands middle of the grip
Landing area and roll
Once you have played around with the different clubs and start to develop a feel for the launch angles and run out ratio, it’s time to plan the journey of your shot. Pick your landing spot taking into consideration the flight and roll ratio. Try 3 clubs you can put 3 coins at different landing areas to help you better understand the differences. It may take you a few goes to find the right landing zone. You maybe find you execute them great but have picked the wrong landing area. This is fine, its part of the learning and needs to go into your short game practice.
Club variation comes in handy
There’s no reason why you can’t use all 3 clubs as they will offer different flight options which will be good from different lies and conditions. Some greens may be firm and need a little more loft for example and some maybe a little softer and require a less loft.
Playing from fairway vs rough
Playing from the fairway vs rough are going to cause the ball to react differently on the green and effect the roll out distance. When playing from the fairway you are likely to get a cleaner contact which creates slower ball speed and more spin allowing more control when it lands on the green and less roll out. Playing from the rough will cause the ball to come out much quicker with less spin so it is important to understand the effect of how the ball behaves from different lies.
From the rough I would just encourage you to use more loft which will just help things come out a little higher and softer. The balls still not going to spin as much but will be a little easier to control the distance. Remember the rough may slow your club down a little so you may need to increase club speed.
Read the green
With this shot, we are intending to generally use the ground more so it is important to take the undulations of the green into consideration. This could be the difference between you hitting it close or not...
So don’t be thrown off by the experts on the TV hitting their lob wedge from every angle, it's often due to little room to work with, tough greenside lies that we can’t appreciate, then add in the fact they are very highly skilled. Put the lower loft chip and run shot into your locker and I guarantee you will start to see better results and fewer mistakes. Get in touch if you would like to work through this together.