Golf Chipping Instructions

By Patrick Cameron
Unlike full swing tee or long iron shots, chipping often requires an abbreviated backswing.
Unlike full swing tee or long iron shots, chipping often requires an abbreviated backswing.

There's a saying in the golf world, "Drive for show and putt for dough." The meaning of the phrase is clear: While you can impress your friends and fellow players by bombing away off the tee, the truest measure of your success on the scorecard is your short game. A big part of your short game is chipping. A chip, besides putting, is perhaps the only shot on a course that you make without a significant break of the wrist. The objective of the shot is to get it as close to the hole as possible, sinking it if you're lucky--or really skilled.

Grab the right club out of your bag. It's a common misconception that you can only chip with a 9 iron or wedge, but the club you select has more to do with the loft you want to get on your approach shot. Sometimes, you'll see a pro use a driver, which keeps the ball on the ground but gives the shot extra torque for long distances.

Line up your club behind the ball. This may be the most important step in the process, as you want to make sure that your club face and the ball are heading where you want them to.

Position the ball. Play it back in your stance. The ball should be located anywhere from your insole on your back foot to off your big toe on your back foot.

Align your feet. A chip doesn't require the same stable base as driving the ball or hitting a long iron. As long as your weight is balanced, feet can be inside of shoulder width.

Run the grip up the lifeline in the palm of your lead hand. This will help keep your lead wrist from breaking when you hit the shot. You'll want to use your non-lead hand to drive the momentum of the club.

Align your hands with your lead hip.

Bring your hands back as far as you need to in order exert enough force in the strike. The key is in keeping your lead arm fairly stiff and allowing your non-lead arm to do the work.

Swing through the ball. You can bend your non-lead elbow as much as you need to in order to get the club back and keep the motion consistent.

About the Author

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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