For most golfers with a limited budget, we have come to terms with playing under “less than perfect” conditions. This is especially true in winter when bermuda grass goes dormant and getting a nice fluffy lie is as likely as a Johnny Miller compliment. Look, chipping is hard enough without adding winter mud or summer hard pan so to think we should try to pull off the same shots as the Pros is crazy talk.
Too often amateurs try to emulate the guys on the PGA tour who make magic with a 60 degree wedge. Unfortunately, when we mere mortals try to pull off the flop shot we end up inviting Vince Scully or Mac McChunky to the party.
Fortunately, this winter I made a new friend who has helped me save more pars and reduce dumb mistakes, his name, Steve Stricker. Whoops, I mean Mr. 8 Iron. The great thing about the 8 iron is that it is really hard totally mis-hit. Sure, you may not make perfect contact each time but chances are you will at least advance the ball where you can two putt.
Better still, the 8 iron has a reliable ratio of flight and roll. Specifically, 8 irons have a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio. For example, if you chip to a spot 10 feet away, the ball will roll another 20 feet . What this means is that you simply need to pick out a spot 1/3 of the way to the green and chip to that point. The reality is that chipping to a spot 10 or 20 feet ahead of you is actually not very hard.
It’s not just me either, just last week DA Points who needed to get up and down to save par and maintain a one shot lead late on Sunday. So on the 16th hole when he was 8 feet off the green and had another 60 feet to the hole he reached for the 8 iron and rolled it inside the leather. Not too shabby for a man who wears a Lego belt buckle.
So next time you are feeling a little Phil-ly, put your ego back in the bag and take out the 8 iron.