WHO: Justin Rose
WHAT: 36-foot chip-in from in front of the green for a birdie
WHEN: Final round of the BMW Championship
WHERE: 427-yard par-4 17th hole at Cog Hill
Justin Rose’s shot was as basic as it gets, especially for a Tour player. They expect to make little chips like that. But because of the pressure, the shot wasn’t as easy as it appeared. Rose had allowed a five-shot lead to dwindle to one stroke, so he felt the weight of the moment.
The Drill: The key to a chip like Rose’s, especially under pressure, is to have soft hands. The setup is straightforward: The ball goes in the middle of your stance or slightly back of center; your weight favors your lead foot; your hands should be slightly ahead of the ball; and you should hold the grip primarily with your fingers, not your palms, because your fingers give a soft feel whereas your palms make the grip feel stiff and heavy. Hit the chip dead-handed, like a putting stroke, using your arms and shoulders to power the motion. Take your hands and wrists out of the shot, and just try to brush the grass. To help develop soft hands with chips, hit practice chips while thinking solely of grip pressure. After each chip, ask yourself, “Did my grip pressure change during the stroke?” The answer should be no.
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Steve Bosdosh teaches at The Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville, Md.