The Chipping Game

High hand­i­cap and begin­ner golfers lose a lot of strokes around the green. Yet it’s prob­a­bly the area that golfers prac­tice the least. How often do you see some­one chip­ping by the prac­tice green?

My 12 year old son start­ed tak­ing his golf game more seri­ous­ly this sea­son. Like many begin­ner golfers, he made quick improve­ments in his long game from tee to green, but still gives up too many strokes around and on the green.

We’ve iden­ti­fied the need to empha­size prac­tic­ing chip­ping and putting, but chip­ping and putting ball after ball from the same spots is not the way. There’s been a lot writ­ten late­ly about the need to prac­tice like you play in order to sim­u­late real shots and golf round pres­sure.

My son and I play a game for our chip­ping prac­tice. It’s sim­ple, fun, and pro­vides a large amount of chip­ping and putting prac­tice.

Each play­er plays one ball. Play­ers alter­nate choos­ing the spot off the green to chip from along with the hole on the prac­tice green to chip to. The object is to get your ball in the hole in the less strokes than your oppo­nent. No points are award­ed to either play­er in a tie. The win­ning play­er receives three points if they chip it in with one stroke, two points for get­ting “up and down” in two strokes, and one point for get­ting the ball in the hole in three strokes. No points are award­ed for four or more strokes even if you get in the hole in less strokes than your oppo­nent. The win­ner of the match is the first play­er to reach ten points.

This chip­ping game is a great way to sim­u­late real golf round pres­sure both with the match play aspect and the need to get the ball in the hole in three strokes or less.


  1. Thanks for the point­ers on the chip­ping game. I devel­oped a sim­i­lar game for myself that has helped my green side play quite a bit. I get out my put­ter, SW, PW, 9 Iron and 7 iron, and use them to hit var­i­ous tar­gets. I choose tar­gets rang­ing from 3 yards to about 30 yards, and try to hit the ball to “putting dis­tance” with each club. One stroke each club, ran­dom order, no repeats. I don’t hit the 7 iron to the short­est tar­gets, nor the put­ter to the longest, but oth­er­wise I try to use all the clubs. I do this every time I am at the range with about a quar­ter to a third of my range balls.

    My green side play has improved with this game. It seems to help that I get only one stroke per club per tar­get. That bet­ter sim­u­lates a real round. It also helps to hit the same dis­tance with a vari­ety of clubs, because each real shot will vary with regard to land­ing zone and run out.

    Now if I could only learn to hit my dri­ver and my fair­way woods on the same day…

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