Chips come better with practise

Playing the dreaded chip shot in golf

Playing the dreaded chip shot in golf - Credit: Archant

Chips come better with practise

Every golfer has faced the horror of a duffed chip.

The pain, frustration and embarrassment, followed by the excruciating knowledge that your next shot will also be a chip, but with even more delicacy and touch required.

Picture the scene: you’re playing in a Covid-safe two-ball.

It is a Par 5 and you stride to the tee with that smug knowledge you can out-drive your playing partner with ease.

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Pull out the big dog and watch it sail, with a touch of draw for extra aesthetic pleasure, and it bounces on the downslope for an added 30 yards.

Your partner is steady, unspectacular, dull.

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Their drive is nice and straight but it must be 50 yards behind you. The fairway walk is full of pleasant chat but, deep down, your drive is vastly superior and, therefore, you must be a better human being.

Your partner plays their second shot. A fairway wood, straight, solid, boring, still 120 yards to go.

You finally reach your ball, unleash a 4-iron (no need for a wood here) and cream it to within a short chip from the green.

Over to you partner. The wedge is solid, on the fringe of the green, solid and boring.

At this point, you’re thinking of a chip-in eagle and then the palms begin to sweat. Reality is dawning.

Shall I play a bump and run? No, too much rough to carry. This chip shot needs loft, but also a deft touch.

You glance longingly back at the tee, wishing it was another drive, another chance to show your superiority.

After plenty of practise swings, pretending you’re loose, calm, a picture of composure.

And then you jerk the club back, lift the head, top the ball and cry.

Furious, there are no practise swings for the next attempt, knived through the green.

You’re on shot number five, and trembling. There is about ten foot of rough still to get through but you bring out the putter. The prospect of another chip is too much.

The putt gets nowhere, you finally finish off with a double bogey seven.

Your partner, solid, boring, walked away with a par.

Lockdown is rubbish for everyone but for the dodgy chippers out there, use the time wisely. Get in the garden and practise.

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