Ball Position for High Soft Chip Shots

Ball Position for High Soft Chip Shots

Hello golfers, PGA Teaching Professional Todd Kolb, and today we’re talking about how to hit the high
soft chip shot. Now first of all, what is that, and how is that different from a standard shot? Well, I think
the word kind of describes it for itself—I want to hit it high, and I want to hit it soft. So typically, it might
be a shot that we’re hitting up over a bunker—a greenside bunker—in order to get it up and down and it
could be any hole—par 3, par 5, doesn’t really matter—but I want the golf ball to come out high, I want
it to come out soft.
Now today’s example, I’m just talking about a standard lie; nice kind of fairway lie, and how do I hit this
shot. The first thing you’ve got to understand—because this is where a lot of people go wrong—is
you’ve got to have proper ball position with this shot. Standard chip shot, yes, we’re going to move the
ball back in the stance a little bit. High soft shot, we are not doing that. We’re moving the ball so it’s
more in the center of the stance. That will allow us to deliver more loft to the golf ball at contact. So
that’s the first tip—number one, get the ball in the center of the stance.
The other thing that I want you to be aware of—because a lot of people go wrong here—is you have to
be aware of shaft angle. Most people, when they’re hitting a chip shot, lean the shaft way forward, and
that’s fine on a normal shot, but if you’re trying to hit it high and soft, but when you lean the shaft
forward, you deloft the golf club. It almost makes the shot impossible. So you want to set up so that
the handle and the club head are in a neutral position.
Those two tips go along with the standard ones that we give on all chip shots. Feet are pretty close
together, pressure a little bit forward on the lead foot. So let’s do a quick recap. I want to hit the golf
ball high and soft; I’ve got to have a club with a lot of loft on it. I want the ball in the center; I want a
neutral shaft angle; and if I go ahead and make my natural chipping motion, that ball will pop up nice
and high and soft, and hopefully finish close to the cup.

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The Phil Mickelson flop

Suppose also you left yourself with a nasty chip shot and need to hit the ball high and have it land soft. Phil Mickelson is a master at hitting perfect flop shots under the most pressure-packed situations. You can be too.

Remember your ball position and take the fear out of the flop shot. You need to deliver more loft to the shot so move the ball towards the middle of your stance.

You hear the words “position” or “positioning” in sports a lot—and with good reason.

Football coaches talk about the importance of field position and positional matchups in regards to players. Basketball coaches stress being in the right position on defense or to grab a rebound. Auto racers are obsessed with pole position and getting position on the track so they can make a move towards Victory Lane. Boxing, tennis, soccer, it doesn’t really matter what sport you choose, your position is key.

Golf is certainly no different. And today, we’re going to talk ball position at address—with all clubs.

It all goes back to the basic fundamentals you learned during your very first junior lesson. Grip the club with your hands in the right position, stand with your feet, and the proper ball position at address. Without these basic fundamentals, you simply can’t play good golf.

Now you might think, “I learned about those things as a kid and it doesn’t apply now.” Not true. We could all use a refresher course from time-to-time. There could be several reasons why you played poorly during your last round. You might have doomed your round before you swung the club, all because you weren’t lined up properly.

Knowing the proper positioning during setup is the key to scoring, and in this article I’m going to walk you through your bag and show you how having the proper set up will help you play better and score better.

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