Take a chipping lesson from Masters champ Larry Mize

March 22, 2017

This year marks the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest shots in Masters history—Larry Mize’s sudden-death chip-in to defeat Greg Norman at the 1987 Masters. Norman seemed to have the advantage when he found the fringe on the par-4 11th with his second shot, while Mize’s approach found a collection area of tightly mown grass some 100 feet right of the pin. But Mize played the perfect bump-and-run shot: He bounced his chip twice through the fringe and fed it down the slope and into the hole for the miracle birdie—and the green jacket. Here’s how to knock this shot close, or maybe even in!

STEP 1: Visualize the Shot

To execute a bump-and-run shot, you must first have the right conditions: firm turf or right fairway grass. Take time to visualize your landing spot to get a feel for how the ball will release and run out. Make a few practice strokes with your sand wedge as you look at your landing spot, then step in.

STEP 2: Set Up to Pinch It

Position the ball back in your stance—just inside your back heel is ideal—with your hands slightly ahead of the ball, your lead wrist flat, and your weight favoring your front side. This should help you “pinch” the ball against the turf and create additional spin and stopping power.

STEP 3: Hit Down Sharply

Hinge the club up until the shaft is about parallel to the ground, then hit down on the ball sharply. It should feel like you’re squeezing it between the clubface and the turf with little follow-through. The goal? Chip it to within 10 feet of the hole, just like a lag putt. But if you knock it in, go ahead and celebrate like Larry—you deserve it.