The players with the best short games can blend technique and artistry into their shots. Their strategies are superb, but not so rigid that it curbs their creativity. Watching a short game master around the greens is like observing a painter with a blank canvas.
Becoming an elite short-game player takes tons of practice — it isn’t something you can pick up in a few hours. You must learn from experience, and know when to use feel over technique.
One of the best ways to become a short-game savant is to know how to change trajectories with your wedges. Every situation will demand a little different approach, so knowing how to change the height on your chips will come in handy.
For a simple (and effective) breakdown on how to hit high, medium and low shots around the greens, we turn to GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jonathan Yarwood.
To hit a stock chip with medium height and medium spin, everything should be relatively neutral at setup. Put the ball in the middle of your stance and have the shaft pointing at the zipper on your pants. Take a normal chipping swing with a neutral release and the ball will come out at medium height with medium spin.
If you want the ball to come out a bit lower, play the ball back in your stance with the hands pressed forward. This will de-loft the club and help create a descending blow that shoots the ball out low onto the green.
“We want to keep the ball low, so we keep the hands ahead,” Yarwood says.
For a high shot, you need to do the opposite of what you did for a low shot. Put the ball forward in your stance and then keep the handle of the club a little further back. On the downswing, release the clubhead early to create more dynamic loft, which will make the ball come off the face much higher than normal.