Cut Your Chip Shots: 

Stan Thirsk has been my teacher and friend since I was a snot-nosed kid learning the basics in Kansas City. The best advice I ever got from Stanley was a chipping lesson when I was 11. As a result, I became a great chipper. The chip-in on 17 at Pebble Beach when I won the U.S. Open in ’82 was the culmination of years of doing what he showed me when I was a junior golfer. 

He taught me to open the face of a wedge, take it back outside the target line and up, then slice across the ball—hard. You can hit the ball firmer this way. It will pop in the air, go a shorter distance and land softly. My only thought on that chip-in at Pebble was to land the ball as softly as I could and get it rolling down the slope like a putt. 

You must hit the ball crisply, by pulling the club across the ball sharply with your left arm. Hinge the club out and up, then chop across the ball with your left arm, keeping the clubface open at impact. I like to practice chipping balls from different situations and seeing how hard I can swing and how short I can make the ball go. This technique also works as you move farther away from the green.