Sharpen Your Short Game Chapter #4 – Eliminate Fat Chips Forever with Dave Pelz, courtesy of Cleveland Golf
Part #4 of our series, “Sharpen Your Short Game” with Dave Pelz, is brought to you by Cleveland Golf.
Synonymous with great wedges, Cleveland has teamed with us to help you score better with these tips from Pelz.
Dave Pelz: I want to show you something I call the foolproof way to chip. It’s really not foolproof but it really does make it easier.
Look, I’ve got an 8 iron here and I’m going to put it way back in my stance, and I’m going to deloft the 8 iron. It’s so easy because it eliminates the two problems that golfers have with chipping. Look, most golfers have a ball here that they’re going to chip and they get handsy. They think about their hands, and they put the ball either at the forward part of their stance or in the middle of their stance, and they have a real low club and sometimes it’s a wood. This can be almost any club in your bag really, but I use an 8 iron. When I deloft it, it becomes a 5 iron because I want it to hit and roll. I don’t want any backspin on it. I don’t want to worry about whether it’s going to bite or not.
Instead of where most people put it in the middle and then they sometimes if they get anxious, the bottom of the arc occurs back here and they fat it, or after you fatted a few, you say I’m never going to hit it fat again and you start sculling them. If you don’t know if you’re going to hit it fat or scull it, you don’t know how hard to swing.
Look, there’s an easier way, because the truth is, all you need to do is make the right size swing and hit it solid. That’s the only thing this shot requires. Make the right length of swing so it has the right power and don’t hit it fat or thin. Just hit it solid or anywhere near solid. Look, if you put the ball instead of the middle of your stance, the bottom of your arc tends to be out in front of you. Actually, in most shots when you turn your hips, the bottom of your arc is forward, but in chipping, with just your shoulders and your arms moving and your hips a little bit, the bottom of the arc is pretty near the center of your stance.
I want you to put the ball across from your back ankle. Now look, that’s only moving from the center, maybe I’m moving the ball this far back 2 inches, inch and a half or 2 inches. It’s back in my stance, but it looks way back because what I do once I get it on my back ankle, then I flare my toes forward because I want to be able to see the hole better. I want to get my hips out of the way so that all I do is drop the club on it. With an 8 iron delofted to a 5 iron, I can hit it fat with the ball back there. It eliminates fat, and even if I hit it thin, it’s still going to be a pretty good shot because I’ve got such a straight blade. It almost doesn’t matter where I hit it on the blade.
Look, I’m actually going to hit this one … I hit that first one almost perfectly, I mean as good as I can hit it. This one, I’m going to hit a little thin. Now watch. I’ve got the ball way back. I’ve got my 8 iron deloft it here, and I’m going to hit this thin. Now look, I barely hit the ball, but it’s down there like this. I can make those putts. If you will just practice this a few times, put the ball back in your stance, flare your toes forward so that your hips open up a little bit, then move everything, your hips, your arms, your shoulders, everything. Just move back and through. Put a little swinging motion on it, and then learn how far the ball goes because it’s going to be low and running, there’s going to be no backspin to deal with. There’s no fat shots to deal with. All you have to do is learn the right length swing for the right length shot. Try it. I think it’ll make chipping easier for you.