Chipping Made Easy
For golfers, chipping creates an interesting question with hundreds of different scenarios and solutions at your disposal. From there, it’s just up to you to work through your routine, get into a winning setup, and execute as well as you can. Typically, chips are shots played on the outside of the green with any medium to small-range club. When chipping, you’re most likely just trying to get onto the green as quickly and efficiently as possible.
So, in order to help with the transition, CoachUp has put together a list of quick tips to remember the next time you’re trying to chip out of a tricky situation. Remember, thick grass exists all over the course and without a tee, you’ll have to chip out constantly. Making or missing a tough chip can be the difference between a personal record and a typical day at the course, so take advantage of it while you're practicing!
If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It
Like most tasks in golf, trying to visualize your shot before you take it is key. Try to go through your steps slowly and succinctly, focusing on your form, setup, and execution. First, find the spot where you want the ball to land. Almost always, that will be a spot on the green. Visualize hitting the ball there repeatedly, then when you translate it to reality, it’ll be that much more obtainable.
I Choose You
As a general rule of thumb, your club of choice will depend on your distance from the hole. For shorter distances, use a lofted club with its face angled way back to keep the ball from running away from you. In terms of bigger gaps, try using a straight faced club so you can cut down on the difference much quicker. But, again, it will all depend on your unique situation and there is no rulebook for what clubs to use at specific moments. Use trial and error to find out what works best for you.
Generally speaking, chipping can be one of the most frustrating things to practice. Some golfers will even pick up ball and bring it right to the green while practicing to avoid the minor annoyance. However, CoachUp strongly disagrees with this mindset; take every opportunity as a potential chance to improve on a shot you might see during an actual competition. So, don't cut corners to make your practices easier, it isn't worth it! Challenge yourself now and you'll reap the rewards later. Otherwise, you'll be kicking yourself on eighteen when you have no idea how to chip out of a bunker with the round on the line.
Trust Your Gut
Take note of the situation you’re in -- Are you on a hill? In sand? Tall grass? How far is the hole? What club should you use? These are all generally great questions to ask yourself before approaching the ball. Even if it's an obvious answer, mentally going through your checklist will subconsciously better your shot. For example, when the ball is in longer grass, you’ll use a lofted club with a fuller, longer swing. There are situations that will call for specific clubs or swing types, so don’t over think yourself. Use as many clubs as possible while practicing to ready yourself for every scenario. Utilizing your different clubs helps you develop technique, setup, and experience with certain instances that are bound to trouble you when it matters the most. Remember, you want to avoid landing your chip on uneven or sloped ground, then you're at the mercy of the land!
- Stance: Narrow -- Open, pulling your weaker foot back from the target.
- Shoulders: Open
- Weight: About 80% on your left side.
- Utilize: Prepare the downward strike necessary for hitting an accurate chip by making sure your hands are ahead of the ball.
- Ball Placement: Just in front of your right foot.
- Form: While setting up, focus on your left wrist. This must stay firm and straight at all costs. Don’t forget to follow through and finish your shot accurately and appropriately!
(Related: Read about hitting out of bunkers here.)
While chipping isn’t very glamorous on the surface, it is a quintessential part of any good golfer’s game. An effective chip can save you from a sticky situation or quickly elevate you in the standings. It’s unreasonable to assume that you don’t need to practice chipping because you’ll be using it numerous times throughout a full round. So, if you’re still having trouble usefully converting on a consistent basis, consider booking one of CoachUp’s private trainers. Our golf trainers have the ability to dissect your game, figure out what works, while passing down their own knowledge and experience in the process. What are you waiting for?