The 20-yard chip
When making my club and shot selection, the first thing I do is look at how much green I have to work with. To judge it accurately, I usually walk up to the green and stand where I want to land the ball and then measure the distance to that landing point, which also gives me the opportunity to read the green and see where the break is.
I generally use my 56 and 60-degree wedges for chipping. The 60-degree wedge for shorter chips and the 56-degree wedge for longer chips.
For short chip shots, up to around 20 yards, I position the ball closer to my right foot and my hands are more towards the left knee, so that the clubface is a bit closed, with the weight favouring the left side. I just swing back and through and hold the finish.
A lot of high handicappers hinge their wrists too much, but it’s important to keep everything in one line, from your arms through to your wrists and the club shaft. Then you can control the stroke through the simple movement of the chest from side to side.
On Tour, we play in a lot of different countries and the types of grass can vary hugely. For example, playing on Bermuda grass, a lot of the time you are hitting into or with the grain which can affect the amount of run you will get.
If you can see the grass growing away from you, then it will be down grain. If the grass looks darker, the chances are that you are playing into the grain, so you will need to catch the ball first and take a steeper angle of attack to get more distance.
The 30-yard Flop Shot
This is the best option if you haven’t got much room for the ball to roll out on the green, for example if the pin is at the front, so you need to flop it high and then drop it quickly. It’s a similar technique to a bunker shot, so open the clubface, make a wider stance with your feet, open the left foot and aim your feet slightly left of the target. Just swing fully and the clubface should go under the ball and it should fly up nicely and land softly.
The 40-yard Pitch Shot
I always use my lob wedge for this type of shot. When I get to a new course I will practise with all my wedges to see how far I am hitting the ball under those specific conditions, with a half shot, a three-quarter shot and a full shot. I always go up to the green and see where I want to land the ball. If the greens are firm, you may want to allow for a lot of roll, or if they are soft and spinney, which is how I like them, then you can attack the flag and hit the full yardage. The clubface will be neutral and the ball position will be slightly left of centre, as for a normal pitch.
Your ball should be nice and close to the hole, if not in it, so go and hole that putt!