Try the “Putting Chip” Shot

Should you putt it? Should you chip it? How about both…the Putting Chip!
The late Paul Runyan, was one of the greatest short game wizards in golf history; and one of the greatest gentlemen the game has ever known. ‘Little Poison’ as he was called, taught a method called “The Putting Chip” whereby, when your ball is on the fringe of the green, you actually perform a chip shot – only like a putt. Here’s what you do:

Take out a club you’d normally chip with (a wedge works fine), and put your putting grip on it. I highly recommend you use a Reverse Overlap, only alter your grip so that your left hand is extremely weaker, i.e. turned way under, and your right hand is extremely strong…i.e. way under. See the picture above. You’ll want your palms to actually be facing somewhat upward.

After placing your hands on the shaft, position the ball back in your stance so it’s positioned just off the instep of your right foot (for a right hand player). This is opposite of where you position your ball for a putt – which is off of your left instep. From here, place your hands just off the crease of your pant on your left thigh. Your left forearm and shaft should be in a straight line, only your shaft will be angled back. You’ll notice that when having your hands forward and your ball position back, your clubface will naturally be loft. In this case, your wedge just became an 8 or 9 iron – but, you now have the advantage of using the deeper face of the wedge.

When making your stroke, Don’t Use Any Wrists!! The hands should be dead and you’re making the movement entirely from your shoulders. I always felt I was cradling a baby between my elbows and again, the arms and shoulders are doing ALL the work.

When there’s not much green to work with, you can move the ball up in the stance and use the same technique. I call this the ‘Plop’ Shot. For a longer shot with a lot of green to work with, you can take an 8 iron, or even a 6, and really run it up there. In practicing this technique, you’ll discover that you’ll be able to produce a fantastic spin on the ball which will help you control your distance and direction.

Remember, approximately 70% of your score in a round of golf happens within 70 yards from the green, so don’t neglect your short game.