Tiger’s Chip-In Ignites Monday Charge

Aaron Ungvarsky

Aaron Ungvarsky

PGA of America Professional, SwingU Instructor

The weather may have been able to delay play until Monday at the BMW Championship, but it could not stop the birdies from flying in the final round. Players being able to clean and place the ball in closely mown areas and receptive greens meant plenty of opportunities for hole-outs around the green.

Tiger Woods was among those to take advantage of the conditions, bolstering an early-morning charge by chipping in on the 6th hole for his third birdie of the round.

Although his Monday charge was never fully realized, his short game has impressed throughout the season. Woods began chipping after surgery almost one year ago to the day and now he is 11th in strokes gained: around the green and 5th in overall strokes gained for the season.

Here is how you can add a simple and effective straight-forward chip to your game.

The Setup

  • Select a club with the loft that best suits your initial carry distance. In the video, we see Tiger wanted only a couple yards of carry, so he chose a lofted wedge. If you are only looking to carry the ball a few feet, select a less lofted club like an 8-iron.
  • Take a narrow stance for stability. This will also create a swing arc that is more up and down; perfect for crisp, ball-first contact.
  • Position the ball back-of-center with the shaft leaning slightly forward with your hands ahead of the ball.
  • Just like Tiger, all of the factors should build a stance that looks more like you are addressing a putt rather than hitting a pitch or chip.

The Shot:

  • When you make practice swings, feel like you are making a long putting motion. The arms and shoulders work like a pendulum, taking the club back and through from waist high to waist high.
  • The swing motion has little-to-no wrist action because whatever spin the ball has comes from the grooves of the club. Added wrist action would increase the spin, making the amount the ball grabs or checks on the putting surface less predictable.
  • The goal is to produce a shot that is struck like a long lag putt, bounces one or two times on the green, with slight backspin slowing the forward momentum and then releases like a putt to the hole.

This is the perfect go-to shot around the green when getting the right speed as the ball approaches the hole matters the most.