Striking chip shots around the green becomes very difficult, when you find your ball sitting down in an old divot or what we call in the trade a 'cuppy lie.'
The normal advice from a more experienced player would be to position the ball in your stance a little further back than normal so you have more chance to pop it forward with a more descending angle of attack. But this can make the ball squirt out fairly low and be difficult to control.
Another way to play this shot is get the ball running on to the green like a putt. It demands a change of grip, ball position and some imagination.
In practice, choose the club you would normally use for a standard chip shot - anything from pitching wedge to 8-iron - but hold the club down the grip where the handle meets the shaft metal.
When you address the shot, stand a little closer to the ball than usual with the shaft almost vertical. The toe of the club will touch the ground but the heel will be off the ground. From this position hit a few small chip and run shots out of the toe to see how the ball reacts. If you prefer to use a putting grip to chip then do so this as it's a feel shot and needs for you to be comfortable with your action.
You'll soon find that with point of the toe touching the ground it makes it much easier to get the ball airborne from a tight lie. You can play the stroke normally without having to stab down onto it. Loft is achieved easily without check spin, allowing the ball to roll instead of skid.
It's a useful shot to have in your short game armoury and only requires a small amount of practice to perfect it.
John Hoskison is attached to the Newbury Golf Centre and plays on the European Seniors Tour. For further information visit John's website at www.johnhoskisongolf.com