C is for Chipping It In. Most people golfing in Thailand can easily improve their scores by improving their chipping to facilitate getting up and down in two stokes, thus savings many pars or even making birdie.
To chip well in Thailand make sure you set up correctly. Stand with you feet and shoulders parallel to the target (or square), play the ball back in your stance to help you make solid contact, and put 60-70 percent of your weight on your left foot, leaning forward to help promote a descending blow.
If you’re close to the green, say within 5 yards, and you have a lot of green to work with, then try a putting stroke. You can even take your putting grip. This is one of the easiest ways to be assured of winding up near the hole and is much preferred in Thailand golf over the more difficult lob or flop shot.
Choose the club that will land the ball on the green and get it rolling like a putt, most likely an 8 or 9 iron. Hit the shot exactly as you would a putt, swinging your shoulders back and through, trying to make sure your follow through is approximately the same length as your back swing. This last point is where most Thai golfers error, as they “give up” or decelerate in their downswing.
Don’t force it, and trust that such a short swing will get the ball the required distance. It takes a little practice, but after a very short period of time (5 minutes for most), you’ll be chipping the ball within tap in distance. The good thing about this shot is because of your setup, it’s very difficult to hit the ball fat, and even if you blade it, your stroke and tempo normally ensure the ball turns out reasonably good.
There is not a single golfer in Thailand that can NOT pick this shot up in a very short period of time and improve their scores. Even Tiger Woods also mentions this shot in his book, “Tiger Woods: How I Play Golf”. The key is the set-up, and as long as you don’t flick your wrists, it’s the most failsafe technique for chipping near the green. You can play shot when you have green to work with, and as you get further back from the green, you can use a more lofted club. Learning when and when not to hit the shot comes from experience, but you’ll soon get used to how far each club goes using this technique and get it up and down more often from off the green.
One other tip to help, visualize the shot going in before you hit it. That’s right, not get it close, but chip it in!