Golf Tip Tuesday: Chipping

Chipping is an essential part of every golfer’s game. Being good at chipping is something that all golfers should have in their toolkits. Below we will talk about some tips and tricks to help with your chipping game.

Have good posture.

Good golf posture is when you bend forward from the hips and let your arms hang directly below your shoulders. Bowing forward like this creates a space, which in effect pre-sets the path through which your arms and club can swing. For some reason, many golfers get into a more squatty posture, which leads to inconsistent contact. But good posture is the first step; once you have that, you can adjust your stance to suit the shot.

Tweak your stance.

The putting and chipping motions are both related in that they require shorter stroke motions. Though your posture will remain relatively similar. To get the desired result with your chipping clubs, make a few small adjustments to your stance and setup:

  • Grip lower on the handle (aka, choke down on the club)
  • Narrow your stance so your feet are about one clubhead apart.
  • Move your ball position back slightly.
  • Lean your shaft and upper body toward the target slightly.

These positions, along with a good posture, will put you in a position to guarantee the bottom of your stroke bottoms out after contact for a clean strike.

Understand your chipping stroke.

Like your putting stroke, a good chipping stroke will require your arms to stay relatively intact and quiet during the motion. Think about your arms and shoulders forming a triangle: Your goal is to keep that triangle intact while it moves throughout your motion. As for the size of the stroke: It varies by person and the distance of the shot. But in most cases, the club should always stay below hip level, relatively equal back and through. I do not like to see long chipping strokes, because it can hurt the quality of your contact.

Pick a target one-third away.

It can be helpful to understand flight-to-roll ratios when chipping. For example, does your ball fly one-third of the distance, and then roll the other two-thirds? Or the opposite? You can get an idea of this by placing a tee or golf club one-third of the way between your ball and the hole. Try to land your ball on that tee, and see how much it rolls afterward. If it lands on the tee but doesn’t reach the hole, try a different club.

Include chipping into your warmup.

As you prepare yourself to take your best game to the course, it’s a good idea to hit a few chips and pitches. Even if it’s just warming up with a few chip shots on the driving range, it will help build that confidence when you get to the course, and give you that feeling of good contact. One of the quickest ways to lower your scores is to be a great chipper. You don’t have to be big and strong and have the best swing to be a great chipper. If you are a good chipper, and you miss the green, you have the confidence to make up for a missed shot.


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