HOW TO PLAY THE PERFECT CHIP AND RUN

For most amateur golfers, the chip and run is one of the most important shots in the bag. Let’s face it, we don’t tend to hit many greens, so anyone who chip the ball close has a huge advantage. It’s a simple shot, and can be played with a variety of clubs, but it’s also one of the most frustrating when it goes wrong. The duffed chip is perhaps the most hateful shot in golf.

Here, then, is a 5-step guide to chipping it close.

1. Find a club you’re comfortable with. Your sand wedge has too much bounce and in any case, we’re not looking for flight here but to get the ball running to the hole. An 8 or 9-iron works very well – it’s short enough to give you plenty of confidence, but you won’t just slide it under the ball.

2. Keep your hands in front of the ball at address. A lot of pros give a little forward press just before taking the club back. This ensures you don’t ‘scoop’ at the ball – it takes some of the loft off and gets it running.

3. Use a stroke very similar to your putting stroke, with strong wrists that don’t hinge. This will soon give you consistency over distance too.

4. Do NOT decelerate the club. We probably say this every week about every shot. But if you wonder why you are doffing your chips, nine times out of ten it’s because you didn’t go through with the shot. Be confident and hit the ball.

5. If you’re reasonably close to the green, read it. It’s amazing how few amateurs look properly at the green until they have a putter in hand, but it has just the same borrows and slopes when you are chipping.