In golf, chipping refers to a shot that’s played from close to the green that results in the ball popping into the air briefly before it hits the ground and rolls toward the hole. The whole point of this technique is to get the ball up and over an obstacle that’s preventing you from putting. In this guide, I’ll discuss some effective golf chipping techniques that will teach you how to sink a ball like a pro.
The best golf chipping techniques focus on a consistent strike, the right posture, proper body mechanics that allow the power to come from body rotation, not your hands or arms, and using a club that works for your striking style. Chipping can be challenging for players of every skill level. The only way you’ll be able to lower your score is by practicing your chip shots regularly until the process and setup feel like second nature.
Table of Contents
The Beginner’s Guide to Chipping
For basic driving fundamentals, many golfers of all skill levels will rely on the best golf range finder, like the Callaway 300 Pro to help to determine exactly how far the next hole is, but learning how to chip like the pros requires a whole different skill set.
The whole goal of chipping is to get the ball close to or onto the green and get it rolling towards the hole. In order to do this, you’ll need to have distance control. To set up for chipping, there are some changes you need to make from your usual setup. For starters, you need to move closer to the ball and switch up your grip so you’re holding the club further down on the grip. This helps to improve your control.
Your feet should be placed closer together, which will help the body to rotate back and through as you move. You should also have a little more weight going through your front foot to make it much easier to strike a chip shot.
During a swing, you will only need to feel a slight turn of your body back and through as the ball pops into the air and moves forward. Make sure your body turns back and through while you keep your hands and arms stable for a better foundation. Regardless of what club you use to chip the overall technique will remain the same. You can always experiment with different types of clubs once you have the basics down.
As a beginner, the following tips will make all the difference concerning how successful you are when executing this move:
Before each shot, take a practice swing. This swing should replicate how you want to hit the chip shot.
As you make your shot, aim to brush the grass under the ball. When you do this, the ball will pop into the air and move forward.
Many newbies will attempt to help the ball get into the air. However, this can lead to a miss-hit. Instead of trying to assist the ball into the air, your aim should be to slightly strike it down and keep your clubhead low to the ground. Allow the loft on the club to help the ball catch some air.
The clubhead should remain low through impact. If you follow these tips, you’ll be impressed by the difference in your strike.
Next, push the club through impact instead of trying to hit the ball into the air. This is one of the most important tips regarding chipping. Allow the club to do all the work without any extra help from you.
Most beginners struggle with picking the right club for chipping. If you use a club with a higher loft, the ball will have a higher trajectory, but it won’t go as far. If you use clubs with a lower loft it will launch the ball lower but will cause the ball to roll further.
Remember, your setup and technique will remain the same, regardless of the type of club you choose, so experiment and find a club that works the best for you and this technique.
The Intermediate Golfer
If you consider yourself an intermediate golfer, then you probably want to reduce your average putt distance and improve your distance control. If you work on averaging a couple of feet closer with chip shots then you can significantly improve your overall score. Distance control is the biggest killer on length, despite the importance of accuracy when chipping.
The goal is to hit several chips in a row, with each of your hits feeling the same, going the same distance, and launching at the same trajectory.
To do, you’ll need to change your balance and posture for chipping. The weight should be distributed through the center of your feet and should remain this way throughout the entire shot. You should have a little knee flex with the spine kept in a neutral position.
Once you have the correct posture and setup, adjust your aim to a target. Close your eyes and take the chip shot. Before you open your eyes visualize the ball and take a guess at how long or short your shot was based solely on the feel of your strike.
Once you’ve achieved a consistent strike there are a couple of other variables that can have an impact on your distance control. This includes dynamic loft at impact and clubhead velocity.
The goal here will be to build a technique where the clubhead velocity and dynamic loft change very little through impact.
In order to do this, you’ll need to focus on keeping a solid line between the club shaft and your left arm. This angle will cause a big change in both dynamic loft and clubhead velocity, which can affect distance control. Remember to rotate your body through to your target, otherwise, you’ll never be able to achieve this move correctly. Focus on good posture angles and a narrow stance at setup. With this foundation in place, you’ll be able to make a chip shot where the body rotation does all the heavy work and the arms and hands stay passive.
Practicing Your Chipping Shots
For practice sessions, make sure you use twenty balls that are the same type and make. Hit around ten shots to a target and make sure you focus solely on producing ball flight using a consistent strike. Once you’ve hit ten shots in a row try repeating this exercise using a different club. You should continue to practice until your strikes start to feel automatic.
You spend a lot of time on the green, you’ve mastered your stance, your swing, and you can beat most of your golf buddies when you’re challenged to a round.
But even if you’re a seasoned player and you know your way around a course you may still have a thing or two to learn when it comes to chipping. The following techniques can help you improve your short game skills and improve your distance control.
Basically, your goal should be to build a skill set that will endanger a hole from anywhere inside thirty yards. Most of your skill will come from understanding how you can manipulate your setup in order to control what the ball does.
Which Club Should I Use for Chipping?
Using a lob or sand wedge from the deep rough are both great choices if you want to get the ball up and onto the green. However, the spin will be less predictable. Ultimately, the right club will be more of a personal preference, which is why I encourage you to practice with a variety of clubs until you find one that you’re comfortable using when you’re practicing.
What Degree Wedge is Best for Chipping?
Most players recommend using a gap wedge that’s around forty-eight to fifty degrees, but if you’re using a sand wedge, it should be between fifty-four to fifty-six degrees. For a lob wedge, go for a club that’s between fifty-eight and sixty degrees.
Is More Bounce Better for Wedges?
Having the right grind option and wedge bounce will promote optimal ball spin, control, and contact. The greater the wedge bounce degree the higher the leading edge will be off the surface when you’re at address.
Do Golf Clubs Go Bad?
Yes. Typically, the driver and wedges will be the first clubs that need to be replaced. Drivers can go dead over time if you use them as your go-to clubs at the driving range, while wedges should be replaced when the grooves wear out. Because they’re rarely used, your long irons can last for several years. Playing with the right clubs, ones that are in good condition can be crucial to your performance. If you’ve had your set of clubs more than a couple of years and you’re an avid golfer, keep a close eye on their wear and tear and replace each club as needed. You don’t have to run out and buy a whole new set, just replace the clubs you use the most often once significant signs of wear are apparent.
Simply put, when it comes to golf chipping techniques if your strike isn’t consistent enough, or good enough, then it needs to get better. By improving your consistency, setup and distance control, you’ll have no problem effortlessly popping that ball into the air, just remember, allow your body rotation to do all the work for you, use a club with a lower loft, and don’t try to help the ball catch some air.