Reverse grip on chipping, the pro’s opinion

Matthew Fitzpatrick, recent winner of the US Open, is one of the few players on the circuit, along with Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, to use reverse grip for chipping. Advantages, disadvantages, we asked the opinion of the expert small game Jean-Pierre Cixous.

This method can be effective and efficient if the technique is mastered. It is possible to make one’s own regardless of the club played. From sandwedge to a more closed iron.

It is particularly suitable for players who have regular contact difficulties or players who suffer from approach yips.

The ball placement is the same as usual and the weight distribution is mainly on the front leg as on a classic chip.

In a right-handed person, the left hand is placed under the right hand with the choice of a baseball grip (the two hands are separated), interlocking (the little finger and the index finger cross) or Vardon (the little finger of the left hand overlaps the space between the index and middle fingers of the right hand).

Derived from an exercise

Initially it is an exercise by Pete Cowen which allows you to feel a crossing without “picking” the ball. So to have more regular contact, ball flight and spin. This is why it took 1 month of testing and training for Matt Fitzpatrick to decide to use this technique in tournaments which had allowed him to improve his statistics. In particular the proximity to the flag on shots around the green.

It is therefore essential to appropriate the technique with several work sessions. The reverse grip does not prevent picking the ball if the execution is not correct.

The intention is the same as with a standard grip: not to want to “moderate” the ball but to let the club loft through correct club/ground contact.

Not transposable everywhere

Lying is also important. A ball in the rough will not be as easy to play as on the fairway but quite doable. Too complicated to apply in the bunker which requires high speed, it will be necessary to return to a standard grip!

photo © David Cannon/Getty Images

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