Monroe Golf Club head pro Jim Mrva says you don't have to do it that way.
The last 5-20 yards into the green can be covered with a hybrid or rescue or baffler. Regardless the name, it can be a valuable tool for nestling chips close to the flag.
Mrva recommends this play "if you don't have a wedge in your hands 3-4 days a week, if you're not an accomplished player, a 12-handicap or higher. The advantage is it's rounded on the bottom. It tends not to dig in, so it's more difficult to miss a shot."
Hit the hybrid with a putting grip and swing that goes from 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock. It's a shot that should not be hard to master.
If you want (or need) to use a wedge, the thing most golfers might not know is that the stance should be very close together. Mrva teaches that the heels in a correct chipping stance won't much further apart than the length of the wedge head.
The hands should be slightly forward and the spine needs to be tilted slightly forward. "It helps you to hit down and hit the ball crisper," Mrva says.
A shot from the rough requires a bit more lean forward and more weight shifted to the front foot. "That's going to put the leading edge (of the club) in play to dig and dive into the grass and pop the ball up," Mrva says.
There is no club that is required for chipping. "I play with all levels of player at the club and I find some only chip with an 8-iron," Mrva says. "They're pretty good with it, once they get used to it.
There's no doubt chipping is a vitally important part of the game. "What separates golfers is how good their short game is," Mrva says.
Mrva is a member of the Western New York PGA section of golf pros.
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