MATT KUCHAR

Con­trol your chip shots.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - BY MATT KUCHAR Matt Kuchar ranked se­cond in scram­bling from the rough in 2017, sav­ing par or bet­ter 68.5 per­cent of the time.

When it comes to chip­ping, you might have been told to hit down on the ball with the han­dle lean­ing to­wards the tar­get at im­pact. Chip­ping this way might al­low you to hit it solid, but I bet you’ll strug­gle con­trol­ling where the ball ends up.

In­stead, what I do is pro­duce a wide swing bot­tom, with the club glid­ing along the turf and into the ball – in­stead of crash­ing down on it.This al­lows my club to strike the turf, yet still con­tact the ball low on the club­face.That’s key to pro­duc­ing loft and spin, and you need both to get the ball to stop where you want it to. I’ll ex­plain.

When I’m chip­ping from closely mowed ar­eas, I know I can put good spin on the ball to stop it us­ing my stan­dard chip­ping tech­nique – ro­tat­ing my body to­wards the tar­get like you see here (above).The mis­take is to get a lit­tle wristy through im­pact and catch the ball on the up­swing. Even if you ap­proached it on a shal­low an­gle, you’ll likely blade the shot if the club moves up­ward through im­pact.

When I’m chip­ping out of the rough, I can’t pro­duce the same amount of spin be­cause the club comes in con­tact with more grass.That means I have to use loft to get the ball to stop quickly.To pop the ball up, I sim­ply make a big­ger swing.Again, the club slides along the grass, but the big­ger swing cre­ates more swing speed which, lets the ball roll up the club­face, oat in the air and land soft. —

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