Rory McIlroy says amateurs are ‘pretty scared’ of this shot. Here’s his easy fix
Rory McIlroy’s ball sat on the grainy Florida turf. He had about 20 upsloping yards to the front of the green. From there, he had about 10 yards to the pin.
Should you be a non-pro, unlike him, McIlroy had a description for the lie.
“This is probably a situation where an amateur would find themselves and they’d actually be pretty scared of it.”
Of course, while many, many things, golf shouldn’t be frightening. Let’s unpack this, with help from the world No. 2 and a video recently shared by TaylorMade, one of his sponsors.
So why is the shot troubling?
McIlroy said it forces a player into one decision, with little room for forgiveness.
“They either get the putter out or they try and bump-and-run it,” he said on the video. “We’re in Florida, so the grass is pretty grainy so it’s not really an option. So the only thing you can do is try and chip this ball and land it on the green, get it to check a little bit and hopefully release up to the hole.”
The ‘Texas wedge’ could be a play, as could the bump-and-run, but the chances of likely coming up short — and blowing up the hole — are great. So what’s the play?
McIlroy had eight thoughts, and none are complex. Here they are in order from the video:
— “What I try and do with these sort of chip shots, I try and stay nice and shallow.”
— “I really try and not even take a divot.”
— “So I play the ball pretty much sort of middle of my stance.”
— “I try and get pretty close to it so that the shaft is a little more vertical at address rather than laying down. So I stand a little closer to it.”
— “With where I’m set up, I really just try to rock my shoulders back and forth.”
— “I almost feel like the club collects the ball on the way through.”
— “I try to take a lot of wrist hinge out of it.”
— “And I really just try to go pretty rigid and rock my shoulders, almost just like a long putt.”
Here, you can give it a shot yourself. We’ll pause.
On the video, McIlroy then tried. He dropped his ball to about 20 feet from the hole, and it finished about 5 feet away.
“Something like that,” he said. “Try and keep it simple and hopefully that’ll help you hit this shot.”
Editor’s note: To watch the entire video with McIlroy, please click here.