FLIP-A-CHIP – Specialty Shot from the Rough

FLIP-A-CHIP – Specialty Shot from the Rough
By Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

flip a chip

You’ve got to love golf for its duplicity.  For one type of shot, you learn a certain technique, but for another type of shot, the technique can be just the opposite.  No wonder the PGA says, “Golf is the game for a lifetime” – it takes a lifetime and then some to learn all the mechanics. 

A case in point: Previously, we saw that the secret to Tiger Wood’s (and every other good player’s) successful ball-striking is slightly decreasing loft at impact by keeping the trail wrist bowed all the way through impact.  In this article, our focus is the opposite: The key element of the flip-a-chip technique is that you must let the wrist cup through impact. This is a specialty shot for use when you’re in medium to heavy rough around the green, and you don’t have much green to work with.  That’s the situation shown in the photos below where you can’t even see my ball because it’s so far down in the rough. To play this shot, set your wrists early in the backswing with a small amount of arm swing and then lose the cup as your right wrist straightens out, and the left wrist folds up. This action causes the clubface to lead the hands, thus increasing the loft of the clubface. If done correctly, the clubface slides directly under the ball, catching the grass first, much like a sand shot.  The cushion of the grass softens the blow while the loft of the face produces a high, soft shot that stops remarkably well from such a dangerous lie.

TJ Article # 145 Photo 1


Note the full set of the wrists and the absence of a weight shift.  My hands haven’t moved much from their original position, but the clubhead has traveled far enough to produce the arc and distance I need. Whenever you’re in the rough, the danger is that the grass will snag the neck of your club, delofting the face — a bad situation when you’re shooting at a tight pin.  This is why it’s essential to flip your hands without allowing your forearms to rotate, thus preserving the loft of the clubface and, by extension, the height of your shot.

TJ Article # 145 Photo 2

While I’ve allowed my left wrist to collapse here, the club shaft is still pointing directly at the target with the face square to the hole. You want to flip your wrists for this shot, but not roll your forearms, because that would yank the clubface off-line.

If you’d like to study with Dr. Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact The College of Golf today.


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