Golf Chipping Advice

By David Green
Like with any golf shot, keep your head still when chipping.
Like with any golf shot, keep your head still when chipping.

When searching for areas in their golf game to save strokes, golfers should look to their short game—chipping, in particular. Golfers chip the ball from the rough, fairway or fringe around the green with a variety of clubs, from wedges to short irons to hybrids. Chipping can be a challenging aspect of golf because it requires precision and has a small margin for error.

Roll the Ball

One of the most common mistakes golfers make when chipping is trying to pop the ball high into the air and land it near the hole. This can be difficult and often leads to poor shots. To get the ball rolling early on the green, which will help control your distance and accuracy, keep your hands in front of the clubhead during the swing. In your stance, put about 70 percent of your weight on your front foot and play the ball near your back foot. Swing with your arms acting like a pendulum, with your hands and arms forming a ‘V.’ Resist the urge to use your wrists, as this will cause the ball to either be "chunked" a few inches or be bladed across the green in the form of a line drive.

Swinging

When novice golfers are faced with a delicate chip shot, they often will decelerate on the downswing in an attempt to control the distance, which leads to ineffective shots. On chip shots, the take-back of the swing should be the same distance as the follow through. To reinforce this, take practice swings and focus on taking the club back and following through at the same length. When you make contact with the ball, hold your follow through until the ball has stopped rolling. This will reinforce the importance of finishing the shot and performing a complete follow through.

Distance Control

The primary goal of chipping is to get the ball close to the hole. This will leave easier putts and help keep scores low. To practice controlling your distance, set up golf tees in a 3-foot radius around the hole then drop golf balls in the rough at various distances. See how many balls you can get in the circle out of 10 chips. You’ll notice that to have success, it is best to try and roll the ball into the circle. This drill also helps develop touch for chip shots of varying distance.

About the Author

A former sports and lifestyle reporter at the "Daily Nebraskan," David Green is a writer who has covered a variety of topics for daily newspapers. He was selected by the "Los Angeles Times" to participate in the Jim Murray Sports Writing Workshop. Green holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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