Getting the most out of every shot is integral in golf. Knowing the best shot to use off the tee or near the green can be the difference between scoring low and a round you’d like to forget.
Pro Tips caught up with professional golfer Rickie Fowler on the course, where he shared some insight on chipping, getting out of a bunker and his go-to shot off the tee to find the fairway. By practicing and perfecting these shots, you’ll be able to play with more poise.
“Confidence is a big part of everyone’s game, especially when you’re playing at the highest level,” Fowler says. “If you’re not confident, then you’re not going to do so well. So, believing in yourself, trusting in what you’re doing and committing to the shot, it’s all confidence.”
If you’re looking to boost your short game, it’s important to improve your chipping. A chip shot is typically used within a few yards of the green. This shot briefly pops the ball into the air before hitting the ground and rolling toward the pin.
Fowler offered a few basic tips to help boost your chipping. The first is to keep your lower body still. He also recommends placing your weight on your front foot. For right-handed golfers, that is your left foot. For left-handed golfers, it would be your right.
“That just allows you to catch the ball first,” Fowler says. “And at that point, you would typically be playing the ball kind of off your front foot.”
Looking for more chipping advice? Check out these chipping Pro Tips to help boost your short game.
FINDING THE FAIRWAY
When Fowler is looking for a go-to shoot to find the fairway, he goes with a shot that is a bit of a low cut.
The first step is to tee the ball down. By doing this, it helps you hit the ball lower, leading to a straighter flight. “(The) ball might be a little more towards the back of my stance,” Fowler adds.
Fowler says he will then pick a spot to aim at to take half the course out of play. “I’m going to aim up the left side and really make sure that I clear my hips and my body,” he explains.
Landing in a green-side sand trap is something every golfer has dealt with. But it’s how you handle the situation that can be the difference between par and a bogey.
Fowler recommends widening your stance. You’ll want to have your feet either shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Also, remember to keep an open clubface and have the ball position further up.
“From there, I would say 60 to 70 percent of your weight on your front foot,” Fowler says. “And make sure you go ahead and take a pretty good swing at it, allowing the club to then pass through and keep going a little more.”
As he swings, Fowler says he keeps his right knuckles facing the ground through the shot. This helps the club glide through the sand instead of digging.
Sometimes it won’t be the green-side bunkers that will give you problems. Learn how to escape fairway bunkers with these Pro Tips.
Ready for more Tour-level advice from professional golfers? Then check out our interview with Gary Woodland as he discusses adding distance to your shot, as well as handling the pressure of tournament play.