The key to a solid short game is having a consistent result with your chosen chipping club.

If your handicap is above single figures, the simplest way to master this is by using just two clubs to gain that consistency.

The best and two most reliable clubs are a sand wedge and an 8 iron.The sand wedge, which typically has a 56 degree loft, is ideal for hitting lob shots over bunkers that will land softly and provide minimal roll out towards the hole.

Now look at an 8 iron… with it’s lower loft of 36 degrees, it is a better option for shots onto the green where the approach is flat. By using a putting style action with the 8 iron,  grip down on the club if necessary, just take the club back and hit through the ball. Observe how the ball lands on the green but continues to roll for some distance towards the flag. This bump and run style is a very effective shot which is likely to hold up under pressure because the action to get the ball to the hole is minimal. If you can imagine an analogue clock; try taking the 8 iron back to say 8 o’clock then hitting through to 4 o’clock. It is a very simple action, which, when mastered, will become a go to shot for most of you around the greens.

When practising either of these shots, to improve the “feel”, place a marker on the green, such as a bucket or even a head cover and try landing the ball next to it. Watch how far each of the shots roll out once they land. This will give you confidence when on the course, knowing where to land the ball on the green so that it will either stop and release a little, or land and roll some distance and finish nice and close to the flag.

Grant Kenny – PGA Golf Professional

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