Did you know there’s a charmingly petite golf course nestled amongst palmetto trees, oaks with Spanish moss, and even alligators?
Say hello to Harbour Town Golf Links on neighboring Hilton Head Island! As one of the smallest courses on the PGA Tour, with only Pebble Beach in California having slightly smaller greens, it’s a place where precision and technique trump brute strength. Navigating around, golfers need to strategize and display exceptional chipping skills, as the notorious Bermuda grass can easily derail the path of the ball. Along with Harbour Town, other area golf courses require similar strategies. So let’s learn how to improve your chipping finesse and better your shot-making prowess!
Position for the chip:
- Lean 80% of your weight on the forward foot.
- Ball position should be middle to back in the stance.
- Move the ball back for a lower trajectory and forward for a higher trajectory.
- Hold the club with soft hands.
- Rock your shoulders.
Physics of the chip:
- The club head meets the ball on the downswing and lifts it up.
- Listen for the ball to land on the green.
- Land the ball on the first two steps of the green and let it roll like a putt.
Choice chipping equipment:
- A 7 iron flies in the air 1/3 distance and rolls 2/3 distance.
- The pitching wedge flies 1/2 air and rolls 1/2 distance.
- A sand wedge flies 2/3 air and rolls 1/3 distance.
By Doug Weaver, Director of Instruction, Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy
North Carolina and South Carolina PGA Teacher of the Year, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. He conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?”, a free interactive clinic and demonstration every Monday from 4-5 p.m. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Call (866) 455-6890 or go to www.palmettodunes.com for more information.