Another Day, Another Collar
When a ball nestles against the collar of thick grass that surrounds the green, it makes clean contact with a putter or a conventional chip shot next to impossible. This situation is perfect for the utility wood shot.
Utility woods have a wide sole and a lot of mass to create solid contact. Grip down so that your lower hand is actually on the shaft. Play the ball back of center and position the hands slightly ahead of the ball to create a more descending angle of approach on the forward swing, which will help negotiate the collar of grass behind the ball. Stand closer to the ball so that the shaft of the club is nearly vertical for increased control.
Just like in a regular chip, your hands should lead the way on the forward swing, being sure to keep your top wrist from breaking down through the hitting area. Just like a lag putt, make the length of the swing back and through appropriate to the total length of the shot. The ball should come out like a putt, rolling to the hole.
Lana Ortega, LPGA Professional,
Lana Ortega Golf, Aurora