CHIP IT CLOSE ON THE LINKS
What makes links courses so different is the imagination required around the greens. In the US, you see pros hitting little pitches and flops, but you can’t really do that here because of the wind and the bad bounces you get from the humps and hollows. A bump-and-run is a far less risky option, especially when played from a tight lie, so it’s a really good shot to have if you’re struggling for consistency around the green. HOW TO PLAY IT... 1. PICK A CLUB As a general rule, an 8-iron chips the ball about one-third of the distance, and runs out the rest, which makes it easier to judge. However, if you need to get over a first cut of rough, you may need more loft, so it’s worth playing around with different clubs. Just remember that the longer the backswing, the more potential for a mishit. 2. SIMPLIFY YOUR SET-UP Once you’ve read the shot like a putt and decided where you want the ball to land, address the ball opposite the right toe with the weight favouring the front foot. From this position, set your hands and shaft ahead of the ball to promote a more downward angle of attack, and grip down the handle slightly for a little extra control. 3. KEEP THE WRISTS PASSIVE The technique is actually really simple. We’re not looking to flight the ball up so you don’t need to bend or break the wrists or take a big swing. Instead, you want to keep the arms passive and the swing quite compact to get the ball running on the ground soon after impact. As you take the club back, swing your arms much like you would on a putt and aim to match the length of the backswing with the follow-through. This is key to achieving consistency and making sure you don’t decelerate into impact, causing duffs and thins.
‘IT’S JUST ONE OF THOSE GOLF COURSES WHERE, IF YOU GET AGGRESSIVE WITH IT, YOU CAN END UP LOOKING VERY SILLY’ RORY MCILROY