Short Game

Top 100 Teacher: If you struggle around the greens, try my ‘Chip-Putt’ shot

GOLF Top 100 Teacher Lou Guzzi has a simple shot that's impossible to screw up.

We’ve all had that situation where we just hit our ball over the green and face a fast, delicate downhill chip.

Such a touchy shot this can become a real knee knocker. It’s not always the case but most greens are built where the back of the green is higher than the front of the green. This design is ideal for accepting a properly hit golf shot. On greens like this, it’s often better to miss short, rather than go long and have a downhill chip coming back.

Now, that’s great planning but we all know that plans change, and those fast downhill chips are going to be there for us to deal with.

As for how to deal with chips like this?

I could use my chipping technique, but it’s real fast and I don’t want to put any unneeded power into the shot. Instead, I’m going to what is called a “Chip Putt” with my 60 degree wedge.

With this technique, I’m going to use my putting stroke. I’m going to take out my wedge and get set up exactly the way I would set up for a putt. Because the wedge is longer, I am going to grip down on it, stand the club up more, getting it to feel like my putter, make a couple of practice strokes and then go ahead and hit this shot.  It will come out nice and soft and this shot is going to feel like about a 20-foot putt.  

This technique can be used all around the greens and with many different clubs — just experiment with it when you have some time to go to the short-game area.

Watch the PGA and LPGA Tour players and you will notice that they use this technique many times on the course. With a little bit of practice, you can master this shot, too.

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