How to Use a Lob Wedge to Chip

LPGA star Suzann Pettersen demonstrates a lob wedge chip near the green.

LPGA star Suzann Pettersen demonstrates a lob wedge chip near the green.

The lob shot isn’t the only shot you can play with your lob wedge. A 60-degree wedge also comes in handy for chips around the green. You should think about chipping with your lob wedge when you don’t have a lot of green to work with or when the green is hard and fast. With proper technique, you can make this shot land softly on the green and roll end over end to the hole.

Lob Wedge Chip

Adopt a slightly open stance with your heels a few inches apart. Keeping you feet close together reduces tension in your body, promoting feel and and tempo. An open stance will help you see the line and apply a small amount of body rotation in the swing.

Lean your upper body over you front foot. The lean will move your weight forward and encourage you to keep your hands ahead of the clubhead throughout the stroke.

Play the ball back in your stance, near your right big toe. When chipping with a lob wedge, you don’t want to set up with the ball too far back in your stance because you might blade the ball over the green. Play the ball too far forward and it will pop off the clubface with too much loft and come up short.

Set your hands even with your left leg. Check to see that the club shaft leans toward the target. This position takes some loft off the clubface so you can hit the ball on a slightly lower trajectory -- adding run when the ball hits the green.

Swing the club back with your arms and shoulders like a putting stroke. Allow a small amount of wrist hinge at the end of the backswing for fluidity. Maintain the tension-free feel you started with at address.

Start the forward stroke by swinging the handle down the target line. Keep your hands ahead of the clubhead to promote a slightly downward blow and a low, rolling chip. For a smooth tempo, match the pace of your forward stroke to the pace of the backswing.

Allow your knees and hips to rotate gently toward the target. According to short game expert Stan Utley, a little lower-body action keeps the motion smooth and effortless.

Hit the ball with a slightly descending blow, striking the ball, and then brushing the grass. There is no need to take a big divot. You need just enough of a downward blow to pop the ball up onto the green.

Finish the chipping motion with your hands still in front of the clubhead. Leading with your hands will make the ball come off the clubface on a lower trajectory without excessive spin. The ball should release and roll when it hits the green.

Items you will need

  • Lob wedge
  • Golf balls

Tip

  • For a low chip with a lob wedge, instructor David Leadbetter advises keeping your left wrist flat in the forward swing and follow through. If you need a more lofted chip, he suggests letting the clubhead pass the hands through impact. The back of your left wrist will cup and the clubface will point to the sky.

Warning

  • Beware trying to accelerate your arms and hands on the forward swing. Acceleration will add backspin and cause your ball to land and check rather than run to the hole. But you need a small amount of acceleration to keep the club swinging toward the hole. If your clubhead slows down before impact, you will make inconsistent contact.
 

References

About the Author

David Raudenbush has more than 20 years of experience as a literacy teacher, staff developer and literacy coach. He has written for newspapers, magazines and online publications, and served as the editor of "Golfstyles New Jersey Magazine." Raudenbush holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in education.

Photo Credits

  • Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images