A Golf Lesson by Paul Runyan – How to Master the Greenside Chip

Paul Runyan, old time golfer and 2 – time PGA Championship winner (1934 and 1938) became well known for his short game expertise. He earned himself the nickname of "Little Poison", chiefly because he did not drive the ball very far, but made up for this with an amazing short game. From time to time, Paul would pass on some golf lessons and various short game tips to his fellow professionals, which would then be taught to their students. One such golf lesson, which became affectionately known as "The Runyan", was how to play the greenside chip.

There will be plenty of times when you will find your ball just off the green, not too far away from the hole, but in some scrubby rough grass. You don; t really want to putt the ball from here, as you do not know how hard you will need to hit it to get it though the grass, plus the wiry grass can also knock the ball off line. Chipping the ball is another option, but this too has it's pitfalls, as the grass can grab and twist the clubface, knocking the ball off line when you swing through. This is where "The Runyan" golf lesson comes in.

Situations like this can be conquered through plenty of practice which brings the confidence with which to play any particular shot. This scenario would be the perfect time to put in to practice Paul Runyan's golf lesson. Here is how he taught it:

1. Take up your putting stance, and keep your front foot slightly open.
2. Make sure you are standing on your intended target line.
3. Now hold the club, as you would your putter, and address the ball. A good choice of club here is the 7 iron. The club should be on it's toe, with the heel off the ground.
4. Grip the club as you would grip your putter.
5. Place the ball in the centre of your stance, which has the effect of de-lofting the club.
6. Using your putting action, swing the club straight back and through. The clubhead should be kept low to the ground, and you should try to make this a "shoulders and arms" type of shot.

And that completes "The Runyan" golf lesson.

Played correctly, the ball will hop out of the grass and remain low, like a standard chip shot. The reason for this is that when you have hit the ball, contact is made with the toe of the club, which causes the swing to slightly deaden the hit. Due to the small amount of loft, the ball will slightly ride the face of the club. This in turn, causes some overspin, which helps the ball to roll forward. And the aim is to have the ball roll for at least 75% to 80% of the shot.

So, to conclude this golf lesson with a short summary. If you play "The Runyan" shot the way it's creator intended, the ball should run up the clubface, spin, and hit the green running towards the hole. With a little practice, this is a shot that could help you towards lower scores.