Missing greens is a certainty in golf — no matter how proficient your ball striking is. Even for the best players in the world, hitting every green in regulation just isn’t realistic.
Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, led the PGA Tour in GIR percentage last season, and he missed nearly 28 percent of his greens. On the LPGA Tour, Ally Ewing leads the pack, and 23 percent of the time, she’s left scrambling.
All that’s to say, you’ll have to rely on your short game a good bit in any given round, so knowing how to hit a variety of shots comes in handy.
One of the most useful shots? A chip shot that stops on command. And for help with that shot, I enlisted the help of a pro: Emily Kristine Pedersen.
Check out the video above or read below for three tips she gave me on hitting a chip shot that stops on command.
1. Start with the setup
Before even thinking about hitting this shot, you need to set yourself up with the correct tools. That means choosing the right club, getting the ball position correct and having the clubface in the right position.
Pedersen recommended using a 60-degree wedge for this shot and putting the ball a bit forward in the stance. Then, she suggested I open up the face to expose the bounce of the club.
“If you hit it into the ground with a shut face, it’s gonna go way too low,” she said. “If you open it and go steep into the ground, it’s going to get some height anyways.”
2. Focus on clean contact
To maximize spin on this shot, it’s important to try to nip the ball clean off the turf. The more ball-first contact you can create, the more spin you’ll generate. But even if you don’t get the cleanest contact, the bounce of the club will keep you from chunking the shot.
“It’s going to get some spin anyways,” she said. “That’s why I open the face.”
3. Turn through
The final key for this shot is making sure you turn through with your body. Don’t rely solely on your hands or your arms or you’ll get inconsistent contact. Turn your body as you hit the shot, using your big muscles in the process, and you’ll generate consistent results.