For many people, driving home the big shots isn't difficult. What makes them sweat is the shorter aspect of the game. This includes putting, but especially, the notorious chip shot.
Chip shots shouldn't be that difficult to make. However, stats would tell a different story.
Regardless, it is an important aspect of the game that you cannot ignore.
So what can you do? The only option is to get better. Relax. Just breathe.
In this blog post, we're going to discuss some tips that are worth their weight in gold, so that you can shine brilliantly under pressure the next time you're faced with the challenge of that chip shot.
Maintain Hands in Front of Clubface During Swing
Keeping your hands ahead of the clubface throughout the swing might sound a bit counterintuitive, but it can make all the difference when it comes to improving your chipping technique.
After all, who hasn’t just gone through the motions of a shot without really thinking about where their hands go?
This adjustment can help ensure that your swings are on point every time to get those chips onto the green with pinpoint accuracy.
Evenly Distribute Weight Between Both Feet
To master chipping technique, most golfers fail to take one critical aspect into consideration: weight distribution. Evenly distributing your weight between both feet when you address the ball is an essential step that many overlook that can really help improve your accuracy and control on when chipping.
Without proper placement of your weight, the angle of your swing may be affected resulting in inaccurate slicing. So next time you’re ready to hit a chip shot, think about how you stand before you do anything else, and make sure your weight is evenly distributed- don't place too much load on any one side.
Practice Swings Without a Ball
Taking practice swings without a ball can help you get a feel for the correct motion and tempo needed to chip effectively. It's all about finding the right rhythm and timing, and that's something that can only be achieved through practice.
When taking practice swings, focus on the way your arms move and how your wrists rotate. Your arms should be loose and relaxed, with minimal tension in your shoulders. You want to make sure you have a smooth swing so you don't over-rotate or hit too hard. As you take each swing, pay attention to how it feels and try to replicate it when you're actually hitting a ball.
Using visualization techniques can also help; just picture yourself making perfect contact with the ball every time, as if it were already happening. This will help ingrain the correct motion into your muscle memory so that when it comes time to chip during an actual game, you'll be able to do it without thinking twice.
Practice swings are one of the best ways to improve your chipping in golf, so don't neglect them. Keeping your energy levels up with a tasty Whole In One Bar can also contribute greatly to getting that shot just right, so don't neglect on-course nutrition.
Use the Bounce to Your Advantage by Adjusting Stance and Clubface
One of the most important chipping techniques to master is utilizing the bounce on pitches by setting up with a slightly open stance and clubface angle. This will help you get more spin on your chip shots, allowing you to control the ball better and get it closer to the hole.
You should also use a 52-56 degree wedge for basic chips, as this will allow you to hit lofted shots that land softly on the green.
For Close Range Chipping Use a Putting Stroke
When the ball is close to the hole, using a putting stroke will help you better control the distance and speed of your chip shot. It's all about having a smooth and consistent motion with minimal wrist action.
To get that smooth stroke, practice by moving your arms more than your wrists. Your hands should remain relaxed and quiet as you swing back and through. Make sure the clubhead moves in a straight line back and then forward in order to make nice, clean contact with the ball. It's also important to keep your head down throughout the entire chipping motion so that your eyes stay focused on the ball instead of looking up prematurely.
You may also want to make adjustments based on how close or far away you are from the hole. If you're close enough that you would normally putt, consider using a putting grip and stepping into your shot like you would with a putter.
Using a putting stroke can also help improve your accuracy and make it much easier to control the distance of each shot. So take some time to practice this technique - your short game will thank you for it.
Chip with a Traditional Motion and Accelerate Through Impact for Better Distance Control
Rather than using your normal putting stroke (which works great for close-range chips), get into more of a full swing position. Make sure you have enough room to bring the club back and reach the top of your swing with a full shoulder turn.
From here, generate momentum on the way down by allowing your arms and shoulders to take over as your wrists remain quiet throughout the entire swing. It's important to never stop accelerating as you approach impact; this will give you maximum control over both speed and trajectory as well as consistency from one shot to the next.
Choose The Right Club Based on The Shot
We all know how the correct club can make all the difference in your shot. It all starts with understanding how far you need to hit it and what kind of lie you have.
Is the ball sitting on an uphill slope? Or maybe it's an awkward downhill lie? Depending on these factors, you'll need to select the right club to get the job done.
If your chip shot is from close range (within 20 feet), you'll likely want to use a pitching wedge or even a sand wedge. This will allow you to take a more aggressive stroke and really go after the pin. Any farther out than that, and you'll probably want to switch to an 8 or 9 iron for flatter trajectories and slightly less spin off of the clubface.
When chipping from sloped lies, there are some special considerations that can help you get better results. For instance, if you're hitting from an uphill lie, stand closer to the ball so that it’s easier to get underneath it while making sure not to de-loft your club too much.
On downhill lies, open up your stance slightly and move away from the ball so that your swing arc will be slightly steeper, allowing for more solid contact with the ball.
No matter what kind of lie you're chipping from, choosing the right club based on distance and type of terrain is essential if you want a good score. Don't ever just swing for the sake of it- think through your shot.
Practice On Different Lies
Continuing on the previous point, you'll want to practice chipping on many different lies.
For example, mastering a sidehill chip shot can be incredibly helpful; not only does it allow for better execution when the ball is perched on an uneven lie, but it also helps improve your overall chipping accuracy.
The same goes for those tricky downhill lies—practice these shots often so you can learn how to control the speed and spin off the clubface depending on how far away you are from the target. You'll find that even small adjustments in technique or posture can make a world of difference when executing chips with these types of lies.
It's also important not to forget about practicing chipping around the green using a lob wedge. After all, having finesse and soft touch around the green is essential if you're going to save par time and have a well-deserved par-tay afterward!
Focus on making solid contact with every chip shot by keeping your arms relaxed and swinging in rhythm with your body’s natural motion throughout the swing path.
Grip Down on Shorter Clubs
Chipping is all about having control over distance. Luckily, there's a simple technique you can use to gain more control; gripping down on your club.
Specifically, you should opt for shorter clubs like wedges or 9-irons when chipping to make sure you don't hit the ball too far.
Gripping down on a club means shortening your grip by moving one or both hands down lower along the shaft. This is done to reduce the length of the club and give you more control over the shot since shorter clubs tend to have less loft and less distance than longer clubs.
It might take some time to get used to if you're not familiar with this type of grip, but once you get it down, trust us—it will pay dividends! With this technique, you'll be able to precisely judge how hard your shots are going and never again find yourself worried about sending the ball too far past the hole.
Learn When To Flop Or Bump and Run
There's no one-size-fits-all solution to chipping- you need to be adaptable and adjust your swing depending on the lie you have. For instance, if you have a good lie you can afford to be more aggressive and go for a flop shot.
However, if you have a bad lie then you need to take a more conservative approach and use a bump-and-run shot.
Of course, simply knowing which type of swing to use is only half the battle—you also need to be able to execute it. That's why it's important to practice different types of swings so you're prepared for any situation that might arise during a round of golf. Luckily, there are plenty of drills you can do at the driving range or even in your backyard to help get your game up to par.
Use a Hula hoop Drill
If you want to get your chipping technique down to a science and make yourself a better golfer, then it's time to get creative with drills—specifically, hula hoop drills!
Rather than just hitting chip shots near the target, try to position a hula hoop around your landing spot, and challenge yourself to land every shot within that area. Not only does this help increase accuracy, but it also reinforces the principles of proper chipping form.
Other drills designed specifically for improving chipping technique are also worth exploring. For instance, try walking forward while chipping in order to ensure you keep the clubface square upon impact. While some might find it tricky at first, mastering this drill will give you an edge during those clutch moments in tournaments.
Learn To Create Backspin
Have you ever been faced with that one shot on the green where you need to hit it soft, but not too soft? Well, if that's the case then no worries—just use a flop shot!
This particular technique requires sliding the clubface underneath the ball in order to produce backspin. As a result, when the ball lands on the green, it will stop quickly and precisely.
The key is to practice this type of shot often so you know how to control the spin off of your respective clubface. And don't be shy about trying out different golf clubs either; experimenting with multiple clubs can help you find which one is best suited for accomplishing this type of goal
Which Clubs Are Best for Playing Chip Shots?
When it comes to chip shots, the best clubs are usually those with less loft and shorter lengths. Wedges (like a Pitching Wedge or Gap Wedge) and 9-irons are generally ideal for such shots since they've got lower loft angles, meaning you can put more control on the ball and make sure it stays close to the ground.
Plus, as mentioned earlier, gripping down on shorter clubs gives you even more control over your shots. Overall, these types of clubs will help you be much more accurate and consistent when chipping—so don't be afraid to pull out one of these bad boys when the situation calls for it.
Adding the power of chip shots to your arsenal will definitely make you a better golfer.
As with other aspects of the game, your success comes down to a lot of practice; so be sure to get those drills in when you can and challenge yourself to make every shot count.