Our longtime Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy Director of Instruction Doug Weaver knows as well as anyone the importance of knowing how to hit good chip shots, not only on the resort’s three award-winning Hilton Head Island golf courses, but also around the rest of the famed South Carolina Lowcountry.
“Here, finesse and shot-making are more important to success than power, and players must plan their way around a course hemmed in by palmetto trees, live oaks with Spanish moss and even the occasional alligator,” Doug wrote in a recent Island Events column. “Another challenge is the tough Bermuda grass surrounding the greens, which can grab and twist the club head and cause the ball to go in the wrong direction. In other words, chipping skills are key.”
Here is Doug’s advice for making chipping a little less stressful and a little more fun:
- Positioning: Lean 80% of your weight on the forward foot. Ball position should be middle to back in the stance. Move the ball back for a lower trajectory and forward for a higher trajectory. Hold the club with soft hands. Rock your shoulders.
- Physics: The clubhead meets the ball on the downswing and lifts it up (see photos). Listen for the ball to land on the green. Land the ball on the first two steps of the green and let it roll like a putt.
- Equipment: A 7 iron flies in the air ⅓ distance and rolls ⅔ distance. A pitching wedge flies ½ air and rolls ½ distance. A sand wedge flies ⅔ air and rolls ⅓ distance.
A former PGA Tour professional himself, Doug recognizes the importance of chipping for professional golfers and amateurs alike.
“Boo Weekley chipped in to win the 2007 RBC Heritage Classic right here on Hilton Head Island,” Doug said. “In 2003, Davis Love III chipped in on his 72nd hole for the win. Learn to chip correctly and you will relax, your driver will improve and you will save strokes!”
Doug, who has been the North Carolina and South Carolina PGA Teacher of the Year, conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?” a free interactive clinic and demonstration every Monday from 4-5 p.m. at our Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Participants can volunteer for a free lesson and some will win prizes!
Interested in taking a golf lesson with Doug Weaver or one of our many golf professionals with the award-winning Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy? Call 866-455-6890 or learn more about our programs here.