Chipping in golf is one of the most fundamental skills you can learn. It is a great way to save a bad shot off the tee and could even help you improve your score. Watching the professionals, you might think that chipping is easy and they often make it look simple. However, knowing how to chip in golf can be daunting.
Chipping relies on one important variable and this variable is about making solid contact with the ball. Since you won’t be putting as much speed in your shot, you won’t have the forgiveness of other clubs. The woods and the irons require far more swing speed, which makes it much easier when you play a bad shot and miss.
If you have been struggling with chipping in golf, you have come to the right place. The main goal of this article is to help you better understand chipping and to improve the short game. We will look at some of the tips and techniques that could help turn you into an expert when it comes to effectively chipping the ball in golf.
How To Chip In Golf
Before we look at some of the tips that could fine-tune your chipping game, we should look at the basics. There is no use going for an advanced shot or making advanced adjustments when you are struggling with the basics. We have identified some of these basics and these should help you get started:
One of the most important parts of the chip is the setup. Assuming you are a right-handed golfer, you will want to start with a narrow stance that puts around 65% of the weight on your left foot, while having the shaft leaning slightly forward as well. Ideally, you want your sternum slightly ahead of the golf ball and open your hips a little bit to the target.
Make sure that you do not drag the golf ball from too far behind you. Not only will you dampen the natural bounce offered by the sole of the club, but you also run a major risk of burying the golf club in the ground. Since you don’t have as much swing speed, striking the ground could lead to miss-hits and cause you some issues.
Playing The Chip Shot (Basic Technique)
With a natural triangle created between your arms and your shoulders, your goal should be to keep the triangle in place as much as possible. You should slightly rock back with your golf club and move forward while trying to retain the triangle that you have in your stance. Playing the golf shot with a follow-through should not have a lot of wrist break.
Shifting your weight is also a crucial part of making the best of this shot. Many people might have a tendency to rock backward and this could move the weight in the wrong direction and cause some significant issues. You want to keep the momentum moving forward when playing the shot and effectively follow through as well.
As mentioned, the follow-through is vital and many people might simply shift backward once they have played the shot. Another mistake can be keeping your head down for too long, which means your movement is hampered by a loss of momentum. This might result in some inconsistent striking that causes you to flick the ball and it might not have the same effect as you intend.
Top 7 Tips For Improving Your Chip Shot
Once you have mastered the standard technique required for chipping the golf ball, you can integrate a few tips. There are plenty of great tips that will help you increase distance and even accuracy. While it might not be easy for everyone to play, the chip shot can be enhanced to make it one of the staple shots of your game.
1. Club Selection
The first and one of the most important tips sits around selecting chipping clubs. You want to make sure you are always selecting the right golf club for your game. Choosing a lofted club that does not give you the range might affect the overall quality of your game. It is important that you understand the angles of a golf club and how the club can affect the distance.
2. Tweak Your Stance To Provide Comfort
One of the most fundamental parts of playing an effective chip shot is being comfortable while you are playing. The traditional chipping technique might not suit everyone, but with a few tweaks and minor changes, you can make it more comfortable for yourself. You should have some expert assistance to ensure you have the optimal comfort for your game. You should also have comfort in the golf swing when you hit chip shots.
3. Understanding How The Ball Interacts With The Surface
There are many different variations of the chip shot. Some of them intend the golf ball to go forward and others will help you get some elevation. You must know how the ball interacts with the turf. By hitting down on the golf ball and striking into the turf after contact, you will lift the ball and this will give it some air.
4. Adjust How You Strike The Ball
Chipping from 200-yards out and chipping from the fringe will be completely different in terms of your stance and your setup. By setting up the ball in the center, you will be eliminating some of the forward-leaning of the shaft and this will inevitably launch the golf ball much higher in the air.
If the golf ball is slightly behind your sternum, it will have the opposite effect and instead of launching the ball higher, you will be more inclined to play the ball forward. It will also roll forward more consistently, but you could easily overshoot the hole with too much roll.
5. How Far Does The Ball Roll
Another important factor to keep in mind is the roll of the ball. You will need to make sure you understand how far the ball will roll when playing it. A simple rule of thumb is to aim about 1/3rd of the way to your actual target. This will allow you to land at the same distance and the golf ball will roll the other 2/3rds of the way.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
While many people visit the driving range and only play with their driver, you can use the opportunity to improve your chip shot. The more chip shots you play, the better you will become at playing these shots and you have a better feel for the game and the clubs. You will also get to know which clubs have what range on the course.
While practicing, you can also try different techniques and see how your stance or striking of the golf ball will affect not only the trajectory but the bounce and the shot in general. Going to the driving range and simply playing with your irons and wedges will allow you to improve this aspect of your game.
7. Add Chipping To Your Warm-Up
Finally, the grass and other areas of the golf course can have a significant effect on what the ball does when you strike it. While warming up before a tournament, you need to add chips to your warm-up routine. It will help you better understand the functionality of the golf course and you could straighten out some of the common mistakes.
You will find that chipping can make an enormous difference to your game. Looking at a player like Jordan Spieth, we all know that he does not have the best shot off the tee. While he tends to be accurate, he might not get the same distance as Rory or Tiger. However, he makes up for it by having the most deadly chip shots in golf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have a good understanding of chipping and what you can do to improve your game, there are a few lingering questions we have come across. To ensure that you can have an effective game and some fun, we have tried to answer these questions to the best of our abilities:
What Is The Rule Of 12 In Chipping?
We use the Rule of 12 to help understand the loft and the roll of the ball when chipping. With this rule, you will be aiming 12-yards in front of you and see what the ball does. The technique aims to help you control the power of the shot more effectively.
Can You chip With A 9-Iron?
Contrary to popular belief, the 9-iron is not one of the staple clubs that many people choose. However, when you are improving your short game, the 9-iron can help you to make these minor shots and get you close to the pin.
Best Video Instruction for How To Chip
Golf is a game where you will need a variety of shots and master most of them. While some part of your game is spent teeing off, and the other part putting, your short game is one of the most important parts of your game. Knowing how to chip in golf will significantly improve your overall game.
Meta: Once you know how to chip in golf, your short game should be on par and you could improve your score.