Ball’s sitting up, but you go right under it…

Your approach trickles off the back of the green, and when you get up to the ball, you see it’s perched up on a perfect lie. Nice. Should be no problem, right?

But when you go to hit the shot, your club slides almost clear under the ball, and you hardly advance it. So much for that lucky lie.

Remember that most of the weight on your wedges is on the bottom of the club. Anything hit high on the clubface won’t have much meat behind it. This combination of high loft and low centre of gravity deadens the hit.

That said, it’s OK to use one of your wedges for this shot, just don’t ground the clubhead at address. Hover it at the top of the grass. Then visualise a sweeping motion, instead of a steep swing into the ball. Make a couple of practice swings in a similar lie, just clipping blades of grass.

On your real swing, stay steady with your body, and let the clubhead swing past you, like on a free-release bunker shot. You’re trying to hit the ball low on the face, near the bottom grooves. Then it’ll come off the way it does on a normal chip.

Zoom Out

Golfers get too focussed on how to technically perform a shot and forget to be in a good state to allow it to happen. Try this:
(1) Have a clear intention to swing to the finish, not just to impact. (2) Remember, a lot of grip pressure at impact can ruin the shot.
(3) Have a good concept of the motion. Otherwise, you’ll try to help the ball and block the club from doing its job.

– Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson

Dustin’s OH-NO at Pebble

When Dustin Johnson three-putted the last green of the US Open at Chambers Bay, we all felt his pain. Did you know he also collapsed at the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach? His duffed chip [above] on the par-4 second hole triggered a final-round debacle. He lay three just off the green, but his chip from a fluffy lie moved the ball two feet. He took triple-bogey on his way to an 82 and a T8.

– Jim McLean is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional.