We all miss greens every time we play golf. In fact, statistically, you are more likely to make a hole-in-one than you are to hit eighteen greens in regulation in a round of golf. So when we miss the green what can we do to increase our odds of getting up and down?
What club to chip with
In our latest ‘Stat of the Week’ podcast, in association with Shot Scope, Jack Backhouse and I discuss how often how often players of different handicaps get up and down and which club they should be using to get up and down more.
You can listen to the podcast below or scroll down to read more.
Ditch the lob wedge
According to Shot Scope data, it’s time to ditch the lob wedge if you want to get up and down more often. Compared to when chipping with any other club, golfers get up and down less with their lob wedge. Typically more lofted wedges are harder to use, meaning the ball finishes further from the hole and you are less likely to get that sacred up and down. We see this trend with most higher lofted clubs as typically golfers struggle to get up and down with their sand wedge too.
Use less loft
Outside of scratch golfers, all handicap categories see a better up and down rate when switching from wedges and instead opting to use a 9-iron or 8-iron around the green.
Compared to using a high-lofted club, a lower-lofted iron will get the ball rolled along the green quicker which means you have less carry distance to judge and you can control the ball on the green like a putt a lot better.
Shot Scope stats show the average mid-handicapper chips the ball inside 6ft 39% of the time with a 9-iron compared to just 20% of the time with a lob wedge chip shot. So if you want to get close to the hole, use a golf club with less loft.
How about using a hybrid for your shots around the green? It gets the ball running quickly and easily and runs like a quick putt. This is perfect when hitting up slopes or through grass that is slightly too long to putt on as it generates more ball speed of the club face.
Start using your flatstick
Using a putter around the green may feel very natural on a links course and be instantly forgotten about on more inland golf courses. But the stats say, if you want to get up and down more, the flat stick is the way to go.
On average, scratch golfers get up and down 56% of the time. How does that change when they choose to use a putter? It jumps up to 87%, giving them 31% more chance of getting up and down!
This trend continues across other handicap categories, for a 15 handicap (14.7 being UK male average), golfers get up and down 72% of the time with a putter. The nearest alternative is 31% of the time with 8-iron.
According to Shot Scope data, the average 15 handicapper hits the green in regulation 23% of the time – that’s 4 greens a round. Getting up and down 31% more often could seriously help reduce your scoring and your handicap!
So if you’re wondering what club to chip with around the greens, it looks like the less loft the better. If you want to play smart, get out your 8-iron or your putter and get that golf ball nearer the pin.
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