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The Hinge and Hold
The Tweener

Develop and effective hinge and hold chip shotDevelop a Hinge and Hold Shot

I call this shot the "tweener" because it is pretty much caught in between a pitch and a chip. Is it a lofted chip? Is it a low lofted pitch? You can decide. The Hinge and Hold is the perfect shot for that 20-40 yard range when you need to loft the ball to get it over the fairway, but it really isn't necessary to throw it way up into the air. It is a medium trajectory shot and resembles an underhanded toss.

The Hinge and Hold has been my favorite shot to hit since I was in college as it is fairly simple and easy to hit. Phil Mickelson recently made it more popular by demonstrating it in his video. With this shot you want the ball to have half carry and half roll. A true chip is 1/3 carry and 2/3 roll. A pitch would be the opposite...2/3 carry and 1/3 roll. The Hinge and Hold is a shot that is called for often times during a round and one that you need to add to your arsenal to have a superior short game.

With other chips like the putt-chip or the bump and run, you will change your club based on how far you need the ball to roll. You can use virtually any club in your bag for those chips. For the Hinge and Hold, however you do need some loft, so you will use one of your wedges. Most commonly it is hit with a sand wedge which will give you both a bit of loft and a good amount of roll.

The Situation:

You are 20-40 yards from the green and have some fairway and fringe to fly over. You also have a good amount of green to work with in front of the pin. All you need is a shot that will loft the ball enough to throw it up on the putting surface and then allow the ball to release and roll to the hole.

The Solution:

Stand with your feet one or two club heads apart. You can measure this by turning your club head sideways and putting it in between your heels. Choke down a bit on the club and place your weight 80% on your front foot. Stand square to the target line with your feet, knees, hips and shoulders. You can stand a bit open if you want, but it isn't necessary. It is only a preference. You can play the ball back of center for a lower trajectory and more roll or play it further forward for a higher trajectory and less roll. Generally, playing it in the middle of your stance works best. Simply start your backswing by hinging your wrists. Very little arm swing is needed. Hold the hinge in your wrists and focus on pivoting towards the target transporting your hands and the club through the ball. Make sure to keep your weight on your front foot to help you hit down with a descending blow. Remember, when you hit down, the ball will pop back up. For this distance and with a sand wedge, you will probably need to swing your club back until the shaft is parallel to the ground. Finish low to ensure that you hold the hinge.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

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