Chipping around the green is an area of the game that requires many hours of practice.
If you become proficient with some of the basics you can definitely shave some strokes off your game.
Let’s take a look had a few basics to lower your score.
Chipping Technique Around The Green
Where Should Your Weight Be When Chipping?
The weight distribution while chipping always has to be on your front foot. There are virtually no exceptions to this rule, always have 70 to 90% of the weight on your front foot.
When you’re chipping, the club head has to strike the ball in a descending fashion. When you load your weight heavily on your front foot this will allow you to strike the ball with a descending blow. Your weight forward will allow you to hit down on the ball.
This may be the most important aspect of chipping all by itself.
If you have your weight distribution on a 50-50 basis you’ll likely hit a lot of chip shots behind the ball.
If you happen to have your weight favoring your back foot you have very little chance of success. The club head will invariably hit behind the ball almost 100% of the time.
Hand Position When Chipping
When you’re chipping your hands should be pressed forward so there is a fairly dramatic forward shaft lean to your golf club.
For right-handed players your hands should be pressed forward and be positioned directly over your left thigh.
This forward shaft lean will also aid in ensuring you strike down on the golf ball through the impact area.
The forward shaft lean, while in your set-up position is setting you up to return to that position in the chip shot. We’ll get more into that soon.
When you’re hands are pressed forward over your left thigh you’ll notice your left forearm and left wrist form a straight line. The back of your left-hand is facing directly at the target.
Your right wrist you’ll notice a crook or bend within the right wrist joint. There will be an approximate 30 degree bend in your right wrist at set-up.
You want to be become very familiar with your left and right wrist position at set up. As you want to return to this position when you’re impacting the ball in the actual chip shot. At the point of hitting the ball you return to a firm left wrist and the right wrist remaining bent through the hit at 30%.
Should I Choke Up On The Club When Chipping?
It’s a good idea to choke up on the club 2 to 3 inches when chipping. With the forward shaft lean you bend a little deeper in your posture.
You typically have more bend with-in your knees and more bend from the hip area when chipping.
Meaning you’re going to have to hold club a little shorter.
It’s a good practice to choke up when chipping as it gives you more control of the club shaft and the club head.
Where To Position The Ball When Chipping
Determining ball position when chipping is dependent on whether you want to hit the ball high or low.
If you want to chip the ball low you position the ball back in your stance.
If you want to chip the ball high you position the ball forward in your stance.
How To Position The Club Head While Chipping
When you position the club head behind the golf ball while chipping.
Ensure you set the club head on the grass surface with a feather light touch.
Reason being there is virtually no body movement while chipping.
Setting the club head on the grass surface ever so gently ensurers your posture is set at the proper height.
If you push the club head firmly into the grass you’ll likely hit the shot fat, meaning your posture was too low.
On the other side if you don’t rest the club gently on the grass and hold it up too high above the grass surface. You’ll hit the ball thin and top the ball.
Setting the ball gently on the grass surface is a very important aspect of the chipping set-up. This proper set-up will ensure solid contact.
Arm Position While Chipping
With your hands pressed forward over your left side thigh, notice the V-shape created between your left and right arm. The V-shape should be well formed with no slack or bend within your elbow joints.
Chipping The Golf Ball Low
Position the ball off your back foot.
Positioning the ball off your back foot will create a low flight and a strong role.
The ball flight will be low and short with a strong role.
With the low chip the ball will fly about 25% of the total distance and roll 75% of the total distance.
This is the ¼ flight ¾ roll chip shot.
Chipping The Golf Ball High
Position the ball off your front foot.
Positioning the ball off your front foot will create a higher flight and less roll.
The ball will have a higher flight and a softer shorter roll.
With the higher flight chip shot the ball will fly about 50% of the distance to the hole and roll the remaining 50%.
This is the ½ flight ½ roll chip shot.
Chipping The Golf Ball High or Low?
When you’re trying to decide on whether to chip the ball high or low. That decision will be made based on how much green you have to work with.
Armed with the knowledge of how the ball rolls out:
The low chip, roles out 75% of the distance.
The high chip, roles out 50% of the distance.
You take a look at the distance from the edge of green to the flagstick.
When To Chip The Golf Ball Low?
If you have a lot of green to work with, meaning there is substantial distance from the edge of the green to the flagstick.
You want to choose the low chip shot, as you want to utilize the chip shot that will impart the greatest amount of role.
If you have lots of green to work with you want lots of roll.
When To Chip The Golf Ball High?
If you have very little green to work with, meaning there is a very short distance from the edge of the green to the flagstick.
You want to choose the high chip shot, as you will require the ball to roll a much shorter distance.
If you have very little green to work with you want very little roll.
Proper Chipping Technique
The basic chipping technique is commonly known as the hinge and hold.
As you swing your hands and club head back your hands hinge on the way back.
This hinge allows the club head to swing back at a steeper angle, setting up a steeper downswing strike.
On the downswing you want your hands to return to your hand position in your original set-up position.
Your left forearm and wrist return to straight and firm and pressed forward at hit, your right wrist maintains the 30° angle through the hit.
Proper Chipping Technique Review
- Left hand and wrist straight and firm.
- Right wrist bent at a 30° angle.
- Backswing wrists hinge slightly.
- Strike down and through the ball.
- Left and right wrist return to hit with same look as set up.
You’re effectively hinging your wrists slightly on the backswing and holding them firm as they were in the set up through the hitting area.
Hinge back - Hold through!
Keys To A Sound Chipping Technique In Golf
- Ensure your weight is always on your front foot
- Press your hands forward so they’re positioned over your left thigh
- Right wrist has approximately 30° bend forearm to back of hand.
- Decide whether to hit the ball high or low.
- Low chip shots the ball is positioned off your back foot.
- High chip shots the ball is positioned off your front foot.
- The club head touches the grass surface with a feather lite touch.
- Hinge the wrist slightly on backswing.
- Return to firm hold with the wrists through hit.
Do your best to keep your chipping technique simple.
Make sure you get in plenty of practice. With a great deal of practice you’ll be able to shave strokes off your score.
There is no better feeling in golf than hearing a buddy say - nice PAR save!
Happy golfing friends!
by Don Toth