Clutch Kim: Two Tips to Improve Your Chipping Under Pressure
By Ryan Adams, PGA
Si Woo Kim reacts to chipping in for birdie from the off the green on the par three 17 during Rd 4 of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club on January 15, 2023 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
One look at the leaderboard and it’s easy to point to Si Woo Kim’s back-to-back 64s at the 2023 Sony Open as the clutch performances that helped him come from behind and win by one over Hayden Buckley.
Even more clutch, however, was his chip shot on the 17th hole at Waialae Country Club. When it mattered most after a Buckley birdie, Kim dialed-up a beautiful play from behind the green, his ball rolling in for birdie — ultimately, the winning difference.
SI WOO HIM 🔥— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 16, 2023
An incredible chip-in from Si Woo Kim answering @HBuckley13’s birdie @SonyOpenHawaii. pic.twitter.com/0cgRc3cfKD
Below are two tips you can use to follow Kim’s lead and hit the chips you need under pressure.
- Find Your Landing Spot. Kim didn’t aim for the hole when he chipped-in at Waialae. He locked in on a landing spot about halfway to the pin and that’s where the ball landed. Any further, and the ball rolls past the hole and Kim likely loses. As you get ready to hit with some practice swings, or whatever your routine may be, look for a landing spot you feel comfortable with hitting based on the club, lie, and yardage. This will help narrow your focus on getting the ball on the right path to hopefully nestling close — or going in.
- Think, “1-2.” Take a look at Kim’s motion on his chip and you can see how dialed in his rhythm is. There’s no herky-jerkiness to it whatsoever. Once you’ve settled in to the shot, remember, “1-2.” Count to “one” on your way back and “two” coming down into the ball. This simplifies your motion and helps establish a nice rhythm.