Masterclass: No.11 Nipping ball from bare lie

Top coach John Cook, reveals how to play one of the toughest shots around the green in his latest Masterclass.

Ed Greenland's picture
Golfmagic Staff
Fri, 17 May 2013
Masterclass: No.11 Nipping ball from bare lie

1. Address position to bare lie

There are few more satisfying shots in golf than the perfect execution of a chip from a bare lie. Played correctly the ball will squirt forward, pitch and check up by the hole.
The technique has to be very exact. There’s very little room for error when it comes to striking the ball correctly from this kind of lie.
The surface will be like hard pan, with little or no give in the ground. It’s like playing a ball from a road, concrete paving stone or buggy path.
Choose a pitching wedge for this shot rather than a sand wedge. The sand iron will give you more loft to get the ball airborne, but the shape of the sole could prove your undoing.

2.Steep take-away

It has too much flange (or bounce) on the sole and will tend to deflect off the ground and hit the ball on the equator. The outcome will usually be a thinned knee-high missile over the green.
The pitching wedge, however, is shaped to deliver a sharp descending blow to nip the ball off the surface under control.
To play the shot, take your address position with the ball slightly towards the back of your stance, towards your right foot (if right-handed) but with your hands holding the club slightly ahead of the ball and opposite your left knee.

3.Nip the ball off the surface

At address, push your knees slightly forward towards the target. This helps to place your weight on your left side and encourages a steeper backswing.
To play this shot well, a steep backswing and a steep downswing into the back of the ball are a must. Aim to make impact between ball and the ground, keeping your left wrist firm through the shot.
Remember that the backswing and follow through must be kept short and neat. This will give you less room for error.
It's a great little shot to have in your armoury around the green and when played correctly will impart a lot of check spin that will really impress your mates.
Practise it off bone hard ground over the Christmas and New Year period to prepare yourself for a shot that could well become a bare necessity during the summer.

Want anymore short game tips? check out our guide to chipping like Phil Mickleson and short game with Freddie Jacobson

For more tips check out the rest of the masterclass series

Originally published December 2004, updated May 2013.