Last night I developed a new drill that will help your chipping, your putting and as a result will help to lower your scores. Pick a 10-25 yard chip from 5-10 feet off the green. Drop 10-15 balls down and keep track of how many shots it takes you to get all the balls into the hole (no gimme's!). Then, try different clubs: sand wedges, lob wedges, pitching wedges, 8 irons, 6 irons, and figure out which club consistently produces the best results (gets the ball in the hole in the fewest total strokes).
Since I preach a lot that using a lower lofted club (my personal favorite is the eight iron) with a smaller swing will produce the best results more often over time, I decided to put my own theory to the test. I tried an eight iron versus a pitching wedge and hit 30 shots with each club from a 15 yard chipping spot, then putted every ball out and counted up the totals.
Pitching wedge: 30 shots, 0 shots holed, 22 shots up and down in two shots, 8 shots down in 3 shots for a grand total of 68 strokes.
8 iron: 30 shots, 5 shots holed!!! 26 shots down in two shots or less, 4 shots down in 3 shots for a grand total of 59 strokes.
So, with a pretty healthy sample size of 30 shots, that is a 9 shot reduction just by using an 8 iron instead of a pitching wedge. You can only imagine how much worse the totals would be with a sand wedge or a lob wedge compared to the 8 iron.
This method is not only a good drill to put pressure on you to get shots up and down, it can also be used for several chip and pitch shots around the green to help you determine which club you should use from various lies to score the best when you're on the course.