Tips for downhill chips and pitches

Published 08/11/2010 07:09:00

Downhill chips and pitches are tricky because of the possibility of hitting the club into the slope behind the ball. The greater the degree of the slope, the more likely you will hit it "fat." The two methods that follow will reduce your chances of being fat.



Using either a sand or pitching wedge, set up slightly open with the ball a little bit back in your stance. Let your weight fall naturally toward your left side. Set the clubface square and your hands even with the ball.


The clubhead must move along the angle of the slope. Keep your wrists firm through impact so you hit the ball flush and the clubface points straight at the target at the finish. The ball will fly low and hard, so land it short of the green and let it run on.



It is possible to hit a higher, softer-landing shot from a downhill lie, but the risk of a mishit is greater.


Turn a wedge wide open and assume a very open stance. Set your weight back on your right side and keep your hands even with the clubhead. Pick up the club with a quick wrist cock and slide the face cleanly under the ball with a brisk downswing.


This method takes concentration and nerve -- and practice -- but when there's little green to work with, it's the shot to play.


Drill: Cut 5-Iron

Both downhill methods require practice but the open-cut needs much more. As you're learning the shot, use a 5-iron. If you become proficient with the club, the open-cut will be far easier with a wedge.


1.  Hitting this short downhill chip shot with a 60* wedge will give some elevation and minimal roll out on the green. You must hit the ball with enough authority to get over the rough. The "chili dip" is a real possibility if you do not take a firm swing on this shot.

comment by Denny - 20/10/2012 01:28

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