Today, we take a look a really great question from a reader who was having trouble with his elevated greens at his home course… don't miss this one!
First let me say I love your website. You have a lot of great information to help a persons golf game. I have been having a problem with chipping. The firm wrist approach gives me better contact, but the greens where I play are all elevated and the firm wrist tends to give me lower trajectory. How can I get the height and soft landing with firm wrists?
You’ve asked a really tough question. Ideally I would say you might want to consider practicing some chip shots using more wrists… but I do have some suggestions for you regardless. First and foremost, the usual setup for the “firm left wrist chip shot” has the ball set slightly back in your stance, with the shaft of the club leaning towards the target. Unfortunately these two setup positions are designed to get the ball rolling quickly rather than get it airborne… as you already know.
In your case, I’d advise you to play the ball more in the center of your stance (or slightly ahead), this should help add some loft to your shots in two ways. One, by reducing the shaft lean you create at address and two by making your angle of attack more shallow. Stemming from this, reduce your shaft lean at address so that your hands are level with the ball – this should help add some additional loft.
Acceleration can also increase loft. Often I see players who chip with a decelerating swing – this will cause the ball to fly on a lower trajectory. If you insure you’re accelerating quickly through impact, you should see a higher ball flight as well.
Try to stay away from flipping your wrists or “lifting” at impact to get the ball airborne, the best way to get lift is to hit down on the back of the ball and let the club do the work. A more natural follow-through should also aid in getting the ball airborne. To do this properly, you’ll need to release your firm left wrist immediately after impact.
I’ll have to assume that you chip around the greens with a sand wedge like most players, this club works great, but you may want to consider investing in a lob wedge. Take the time and work hard to become comfortable with it around the greens. I would recommend one with little bounce if you intend on using it around the greens. Bounce only works in your favor if you’re in the sand.
Finally, you will want to practice the types of shots you face on the golf course… you might find that the best solution to your problem involves using more wrists both on the backswing and follow-through. I’d recommend trying both, more wrists and the strategies I’ve described above.
I hope that helps, and let me know how it goes.
The Golf Drill Guru