Chipping 101

January 21, 2021

Did you know that chipping is one of the quickest ways to lower your handicap? 

It might seem like an easy and short golf swing, but that’s precisely why golfers often neglect to practice their short game — which is a loss to their overall performance.

“Like putting, chipping is a feel technique. Practice increases your feel and your muscle memory, which gives you a better chance at succeeding and saving lots of strokes,” says Don VanDeusen, assistant general manager at Fairway Hills Golf Club

Don VanDeusen profile image

Don VanDeusen

Plus, because chipping is the precursor to your full swing, it’s the foundation that the rest of your game stems from. Devoting a little extra time to your chipping technique can improve the overall rhythm and tempo of your next round. Before we discuss how CA’s indoor golf simulator can help with your chipping technique, let’s cover the basics!

 

How to hit more consistent chip shots 

First things first: Your ball placement depends on what kind of chip shot you’re going for. 

Low chip shots are more common, in which case the ball should be located toward the back foot. Low shots are also easier to execute, especially if you’re new to golf. If you’re going higher, however, you’ll want the ball toward the front foot. Make sure to avoid trying to chip with the ball in between your feet as you normally would. 

Once you’ve got your ball placement, it’s time to consider your hand placement. Regardless of whether it’s a high or low chip shot, your hands always need to be forward. Your grip pressure should be fairly light, not too tight. 

“Always align the grip with the belly button so your hands are a little ahead of the club before the chip shot,” says VanDeusen. “One common mistake is golfers using their wrists too much. Flicking the wrists at the bottom tends to sabotage consistent chip shots.”

Your feet should be close together, and make sure you feel comfortable in your stance. It’s essential to put more weight in your front foot, instead of the weight being distributed 50/50 between your feet. If the weight is in your back, then your leading edge will come up. This makes you try to scoop the ball in the air. So you might feel like you’re a little bit tilted forward, but this is a good thing for chipping!

The swing should be smooth with a slight downward stroke on the ball, and overall isn’t radically different from putt. Keeping soft shoulders, soft forearms and soft hands are central to mastering the feel of the chip stroke. 

You don’t want rigid or jerky movements. Also, keep your wrists fairly stable and be careful not to cock them when you take the club back.

“One way I see golfers get in trouble is decelerating right before making contact with the ball,” says VanDeusen. “Always accelerate through the ball!”

 

Master your chip shot with the SkyTrak

Ready to break scoring barriers with a more consistent chip shot? Come in and rent the indoor launch monitor at Fairway Hills Golf Club!

The SkyTrak experience has something to offer golfers of all skill levels and is open to both CA members and non-members. You can rent for 30 minutes or up to an hour. The SkyTrak provides you with real-time ball flight data and records practice session history. Learn more on our website!

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