Kyle Shevlin Golf

Mental Game: Handling a Bad Chip on a Par 5

Have you ever hit your second shot on a par 5 near the green, and then proceeded to hit a really poor chip or pitch to 10-15 feet or so?

”How could you hit such a bad chip? You’re throwing away a great opportunity for birdie!” you might say to yourself.

I certainly have, probably hundreds of times in my life, but I want to offer a small tip I use to stay in a good head space and give myself the best chance of making the birdie putt.

If I hit a less-than-stellar chip, I ask myself a simple question, “If I had hit a wedge shot from the fairway to the same spot that I’m in right now, would I be happy with the result?” Many times the answer is yes.

Golf is a tough game and one of the best things we can do to make it easier is to manage our expectations. We’re not going to hit every chip and pitch close, and it’s easy to get upset when we hit a poor one. By reframing how we view our position on the hole, we can change how we’re feeling.

If I hit a wedge shot within a few paces of the hole, then I’d be walking to the hole with some confidence, ready to make a birdie putt. So do the same when you hit a pitch or chip to the same spot. It’s the same putt, the only difference is the past, which doesn’t matter anyways.

So get your head right and putt a good roll on it. You got this.