Being able to judge how the golf ball will behave when playing a chip shot is just as important as the shot itself. Spin, trajectory, and roll factor into effectively getting the ball to land close to the hole or preferably in the hole.
The lie of the ball has a significant impact on its flight through the air. A bare lie or one where there is little or no grass beneath the ball or where the grass is tightly mown, produces a lower than normal ball flight.
The ball will come out of a longer grass lie with a relatively high flight but with a lot less backspin because grass gets between the club face and the ball. Let’s look at a few situations.
Upslope Impact: Using a less lofted club on an upslope results in a shorter, softer swing making it easier to control the distance of the ball. Position the ball forward in your stance. The ball will shoot forward on a fairly low trajectory with little backspin making it easier to judge how far the ball with run.
Downslope Impact: On a downslope lie, the ball generally comes out on a low trajectory, making it difficult to control. Select a club with as much loft as possible to compensate. Generally, a sand wedge does the job. It provides some additional control while creating enough elevation on the ball to ensure a soft landing. Position the ball back in your stance.
The Drill: Before chipping, visualize the shot taking into account what the ball will do; identify an exact landing spot, preferably on the green to get an even bounce; and select the club that best fits the lie.