By Craig Sasada with Ryan M. Noll;
Okay, so you’ve missed the green by a few feet and are left with a fluffy, unpredictable lie.
Situations like this aren’t uncommon here at Poipu Bay in Kauai (and probably your home
course too), but with a quick pointer on greenside chipping, I think I can help you get up and
down more often than not from this tricky position. How? With the most versatile and forgiving
club in your bag.
When you miss the green and find yourself with a tight, fluffy or unpredictable lie near the
green, ditch the wedge for a hybrid club (if you’re one of the few not using a hybrid club, try a
high-lofted fairway wood). The hybrid, which has become known for its remarkable versatility,
can help you hit a shot that produces the same result, no matter what the lie. A wedge,
however, may pop the ball up high, promote roll or cause the ball to check up. (Or worse yet, in
a fluffy lie like I have here, the wedge can slip completely under the ball, causing an
embarrassing flubbed shot.) With the hybrid, you can almost always guarantee the ball will get
airborne a few inches and immediately start rolling toward the target.
To hit this shot—no matter what the lie—simply adopt your putting stance. Choke down on the
shaft to a comfortable position, place the ball and your weight slightly forward of center in your
stance and glide the clubhead across the grass as you would with a putter. The thick sole and
low weighting of the hybrid will help brush through the turf with the needed momentum to
prevent a flubbed shot, and the enlarged sweet spot will minimize twisting and distance loss
should you hit the ball slightly on the heel or toe.
When you’re ready, make a putting stroke and be sure to play for plenty of roll, as the ball will
get airborne momentarily and begin rolling in a hurry. (This shot tends to be more effective with
at least 10 yards of green between you and the hole.) Remember to read the green as you
would a putt, and play the break. With some practice and experimentation, you’ll soon find
using the hybrid to be one of the most effective ways to get the ball close from off the green.