Golf Chip Shots are really just a longer version of a putt. This shot uses a lot of the same techniques and concepts as your putting stroke…it is just a little longer motion. With a longer motion comes more movement in your body, and this lesson will describe the differences and how to make your short game more consistent. Let’s work on developing a solid and repeatable motion.
Golf Chip Shots Tip #1 : A Good Setup
Please see the Chipping Setup Lesson for more detailed information on a proper setup position. But here are a couple of quick reminders…
- Your arms form a triangle with your shoulders.
- Your hands should be slightly ahead of the ball.
- Your weight should be leaning onto your left foot.
- Your ball should be in line with your sternum.
These are all very important to remember as we work on your stroke so that you can hit your chips closer to the hole. The closer you are the better chance you give yourself to one putt. That is how you save shots and lower your scores.
Golf Chip Shots Tip #2 : The Backswing
- Use yur hands, arms and shoulders all at the same time to start the back swing. If you do this well you will maintain your triangle. This is very important for hitting consistent chip shots.
- Try to keep your lower body relaxed. If you do then you will feel a little turning of your hips. This is good! It is the key difference between chipping and putting. The lower body should move a little in chipping. It helps with contact and control.
- Your weight should not move. Make sure you keep your weight leaning on your left foot.
- Notice how you can see the club face. This means that my arms and wrists are relaxed. When you are relaxed you will have better feel with the club. It will also rotate the way it is supposed to. If you squeeze too hard and are tense, the club face will still be pointed at the ground. If the club faces the ground most of your chips will fly too low and go left of your target.
Golf Chip Shots Tip #3 : The Downswing
- Start your action back towards the ball by keeping everything in rhythm. This means your hips, arms, shoulders and hands all move together.
- Start your hips turning back towards the target, but make sure your hands and arms follow along for the ride. If you separate the motion and leave something behind you have a hard time hitting great chip shots.
- Keep your weight exactly where it started…on your left foot. You put it there in your address so that it was preset for impact. Make sure you don’t change it. This will help you return the club back to the ball for solid contact.
- Keep your left wrist flat. This is the part of the stroke where it becomes tempting to hit the shot with your hands and not your whole body. If you do your left wrist will break down and bend so that the club head gets ahead of your hands. This leads to very poor contact. Keep your left wrist flat throughout the shot and your club will never pass your hands. Your club will then end up in line with your hands and arms, but never flip past them. This makes it much easier for you to make great contact.
Golf Chip Shots Tip #4 : Impact
- Impact and the address positions are almost the same. Remember how much we talked about the triangle between your arms and shoulders in the address position? Well…notice that your triangle should still be intact at impact. This is how you will know that you kept your rhythm throughout your shot.
- Your hands must be ahead of your club at impact. It is simply not possible to hit solid shots otherwise. By keeping your left wrist flat at impact, you will guarantee that your hands will stay ahead.
- Your weight still has not moved. It is exactly the same as it was at address.
Golf Chip Shots Tip #5 : The Finish
- Your triangle should still be there.
- Your weight should still be on your target leg.
- Your wrist should stay flat for crisp contact.
Golf Chip Shots Tip #6 : Hold Your Finish
- Hold your finish for every shot you make, until the ball stops rolling. This will help ingrain the feeling of your swing and the contact you made with the result of the shot. This is great to keep in your memory because it means you can repeat the good ones, and try and avoid the feeling of the bad ones.
- Your weight does not change throughout this entire motion. However, your hips do turn. Take a look at the picture to see how open the hips are to the target. They are even more open than their starting position. Setting up with an open stance, and turning your hips a little through your swing will really help with clean crisp contact.
- Because this is a short stroke, your club head should stay on your target line almost the whole time. Try to think of putting your club in the hole to help keep your shots on target.
Thank you for reading the Chipping Stroke Lesson. The next lesson in the chipping series is Chipping Distance Control. It is very important that you take the time to practice your chipping stroke motion before you work on trying to control your distance. Solid ball contact is critical for controlling distance.