Do you struggle with hitting chip shots fat and thin? You might not be using the bounce of your wedge correctly. PGA Golf professional Jack Backhouse is here to explain what the bounce is and how you can use it to improve your chipping.
Using the bounce makes chipping around the greens so much easier, but many golfers don’t know how to do it or even know what using the bounce even means. PGA professional Jack Backhouse has some tips for us that will help you use the bounce on a golf club for better performance around the greens.
You can watch the video above, but if you would prefer to read the article keep scrolling…
What is the bounce?
It is hard to know how to use the bounce on a golf club if you don’t know what the bounce is. The bounce on a wedge is the difference between the leading edge on the club and the sole. Most wedges will have somewhere between 12 – 4 degrees of bounce, and how much bounce you need is determined by your technique and what kind of course you play on.
It’s designed to help the club not dig too deep into the turf and keep the clubhead moving. We can use the bounce in a way when chipping that allows us to basically never chunk it just in front of us, which is great news for all levels of golfer.
How to set up in a way that engages the bounce
A lot of golfers at some point in their career have been told that when chipping you should have the ball back and your hands ahead at the address. This exposes the leading edge and takes away all the effective bounce from the club, meaning your contact must be perfect or you will hit a poor shot.
The way to set up to engage the bounce is to have the ball forward in your stance, move your hands in a more upright position where the heel of the club is in the air, and open the face slightly. Doing this puts you in a position where the club will skid along the surface rather than dig into the ground.
Swinging in a way that uses the bounce
Once we have a good address position we are more than halfway there to making a swing that uses the bounce. Where golfers go wrong is they drag the handle in the swing and create too much lag at impact where the hands are too far ahead of the ball.
A nice thought that corrects this is to keep the grip pointed up at your belly button throughout the whole swing. This allows the club to pass your hands at impact, creating a wide shallow arc for the club to move on. The club will hit the ground and skid and the ball will pop up in the air with a high soft flight.
Not every strike will be perfect
Realistically, we can’t strike every chip perfectly. Using the bounce should allow you to strike the ball heavy and still get the ball on the green and sometimes close to the hole. Improving your short game is more about improving your average than it is hitting more perfect shots, so be pleased when you are able to consistently get the ball on the green, whether it was a perfect strike or not.
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