Short Game

3 tips from a Hall of Fame coach to help you chip into the grain

a woman chipping onto a green.

Welcome to our new series, Golfer to Golfer, where we listen to one avid player in hopes that the rest of us can take away something that might improve our own games.

This week, we’re talking to former tour player and Hall of Fame coach Mike Adams, who’s sharing some advice for the rest of front nine on Thursday — and what the rest of us can learn from it.

The shot that strikes fear in every level of golfer is the short wedge shot around the green with the grain growing into you. Grain is the way that the grass lays on the ground. The challenge can be that is is easy for your club to get caught or stuck in the grain making it difficult to make clean, solid contact with your golf ball.

The key to mastering this potentially difficult situation is to learn to use the bounce of the wedge properly. Using the bounce will help it to properly glide across the ground, avoid the frustration of digging and getting stuck in the ground.

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1. Ball position slightly forward

Playing your ball position slightly forward in your stance, will help to increase the loft and engage the bounce of the club. When you learn to properly use the bounce, the wedge will glide and not dig and in this situation this is ultimately important.

2. Open the club face to increase loft and bounce

Slightly open the face by turning the grip of the club away from the target and then place your hands onto the grip of the club. This more open face will produce a higher and shorter distance shot, but the increased bounce will also help avoid the club digging and getting stuck in the grain of the grass.

You may need to take into consideration that the increased loft that results when you open the face, may require you to need to take a larger swing to cover your needed distance.

3. Swing the club down your shoulder line

When you play your ball more forward your shoulder line will open to the target line naturally.
Allow your arms to swing naturally down your shoulder line, which will tend to be more out to in, helping you to contact the ball before the turf and minimizing the chance of digging.

Having a plan of attack for dealing with into the grain wedge shots can help build confidence and success. Understanding how to use the bounce and adjust your set up to promote this can be an invaluable addition to your shot list.

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