If you have tried to research anything information on switching clubs when chipping, I am sure you have encountered a plethora of options, techniques, and possibilities. While warming up before yesterdays round, I went through my normal routine of placing my ball in different depths in order to practice using different clubs to the same distance. My technique is very simple. The deeper the rough around the ball, the higher loft club I use to ensure I make clean contact on the ball. It works very well and it something that I can control on a regular basis.
From the image above the red line indicates the height of the rough. Regardless of which yellow flag I use for practice, selecting the proper club is generally based on the lie of my ball. Of course you can substitute which club suits your game because it is important that you adopt my technique to your game.
For the discuss below, I was hitting at the flag on the left about 10 paces from the ball. My intent is to produce contact to ensure the ball rolls towards the flag as quickly as possible to simulate the roll of a putt.
In the case of the 7 iron, the ball is sitting up and offers very little opportunity for grass to bet between my ball and club face. This is my preferred chipping option and I use it as much as I possible can within five yards of the green. With the ball sitting up, hitting a seven iron allows my ball runs along the green quickly and acts very much like a putt. I even hold my hands in my putter grip with the heel slightly off the green. This club selection does not work for the other two lie options because the grass will prevent clean solid contact.
In the middle option, a pitching wedge is my choice because I can drop the leading edge of my club onto the ball with little chance of catching much grass. This option provides a bit more of a descending swing path, but offers an opportunity for me to easily hit the ball a bit higher, but get the ball on the green relatively quickly to produce the roll out I prefer. Of course I can use this club for the first option, but a much higher loft will ensure, hence a different shot all together.
In the last option, I prefer a sand wedge. My eight degree bounce wedge allows for the leading edge to drop tightly at the ball with little chance of the grass getting in the way. This descending swing pops the ball out at a low trajectory and gets it rolling quickly towards my intended target. This particular shot has a bit more of a hop to the ball, but that is expected.
Using different clubs to produce the same rolling putt is a technique that I have developed over the years. It works very well as long as I pay attention to the lie of ball. As a reminder, the longer the grass, the more loft of club I use to produce a rolling ball towards my target. This is the cornerstone of my short game and practice this technique constantly. I think if you give it a try, you will find that it really is a stroke saver.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!