Updated: Mar 2
It is no secret that amateurs, including myself, waste a ton of strokes around the green. Chipping, sand shots and putting can be an adventure. Yet we all have that buddy who seems to make it look easy around the green and invariably wins your weekly match because of it.
This is why chipping and pitching should be high on the priority list of most amateurs this off season. To help with that PGA Tour Winner Parker Mclachlin gave some tips to the Be Better Golf community (hosted by Brendon DeVore) in this YouTube video that will get you started.
First assess the lie before you make a shot choice
"It all starts with the lie, you have to read the lie...the goal is to make good contact"
Early in the video Parker explains that amateurs usually don't assess the lie properly or at least don't give it any level of importance. Amateurs just grab the same club every time and we hope and pray. If the ball is sitting down don't grab your most lofted club because you have to hit it perfectly. Which, as amateurs, we rarely do. Take a lower lofted club and go with a bump and run stroke. Parker's comments on this begin here: https://youtu.be/v5q5HSxdSMk?t=39
Second, play the appropriate pitch shot by varying your shaft lean and face angle
In this video Parker is definitely showcasing his collaboration with Titleist on their Vokey wedges called sight lines. But if you look past this you will see how this short game guru addresses each type of shot.
Low Bump and Run Shot - https://youtu.be/v5q5HSxdSMk?t=163
shaft lean of between 3 - 5 degrees. Parker explains amateurs usually go way beyond this shaft lean and end up sticking the club in the ground for a fat shot or blade it. I hear that!
feet close together and well balanced
low and slow back and through with little wrist hinge
Mid Height Pitch Shot - https://youtu.be/v5q5HSxdSMk?t=213
Shaft lean of about 1 degree forward (almost perpendicular)
same stroke as above (This is what I love about Parkers method)
High Flop Shot - https://youtu.be/v5q5HSxdSMk?t=227
Slightly wider stance
No shaft lean
Ball in the center of your stance
Again little wrist hinge but generally a long smoot swing
Finish a little higher than lower chips.
Finally, just watch Parker's stroke on the chips. There is a reason he is regarded as one of the best short game coaches and was one of the best around the green when he played competitively. Smooth. He just turns back and then turns through with little wrist or hand manipulation. Not much can go wrong.
Here is the full video. I hope it helps your short game around the greens.
Parker Mclachlin - The Short Game Chef
Parker Mclachlin can be found at his website and Youtube channels:
Shortgame Chef - website
BeBetterGolf - always great content