If you want to have a good chance of shooting a low score on the golf course, your short game must be good. During a round of golf you will face several shots around the green, many of which will be in different scenarios and you need to be able to play each of them with confidence to avoid losing shots. For amateur golfers, one of the shots which makes them tremble more than any other is a short chip shot, from a tight lie.
A tight lie is one where the ball is sat on very little grass. The grass is either cut very short or the ground has become a little bare. Either way, there is very little grass under the ball. This means the margin for error is much less than it would be when hitting with grass under the ball and makes the shot a little more difficult to play well.
To play this shot successfully, club selection and technique are both very important.
Firstly, when playing off a tight lie, you must select a lofted club with very little bounce. A lob wedge or pitching wedge is ideal but do not be tempted to go for your sand wedge because this is designed with too much bounce and will not produce the desired result.
When you address the ball, keep your feet close together and have the bulk of your weight on your front foot. Keep the ball towards the back of your stance and press your hands slightly forward, which will help you to strike down on the ball. However, do not lean the grip of the club too far forward, as this will produce a lower shot than you would like and you may dig deeper and hit the shot fat. Also, you do not need to scoop the club face under the golf ball. Having taken the correct stance and carried out the following instruction, you will make the correct contact with the ball, without the need to force the issue.
Swing your club back on an upright path, as this will also help you to strike down on the ball and make a good, clean contact. Make sure you keep the weight on your front foot and your backswing short.
As you enter the downswing and the face of the club reaches the ball, keep your hands pressed slightly ahead of the club and you should make a very small divot having contacted the ball. Follow through the same amount of distance as you had on your backswing and keep most of your weight on your front foot, as you have done from address. You must concentrate on hitting the ball first and have your chest come through so it is facing the target.
Make sure you have enough swing to carry the ball over any hazards which are between you and the green. Aim for the flag and if you hit it a little short you will be fine and if you hit it a little long, you will still be on the green. If you aim to hit the front edge of the green and get it wrong, you will be in the hazard. So always look at the top of the flag stick when playing this shot.