Learn to Chip Around the Green

The short game prob­a­bly has a big­ger gap in abil­i­ty between low and high hand­i­cap golfers than any area in golf. The abil­i­ty to get up and down is crit­i­cal in improv­ing your game. How many times does a high hand­i­cap golfer take three or four shots from beside the green to get the ball in the hole?

The need to be able to shoot a vari­ety of shots is one of the chal­lenges high hand­i­cap golfers face in hav­ing a good short game. The chip, pitch, flop, and sand shots are all part of a well-round­ed short game. In this post, we will be talk­ing about the chip shot.

Around the green, many begin­ner and high hand­i­cap golfers exclu­sive­ly use their pitch­ing or sand wedge, attempt­ing to fly the ball most of the way to the hole with a loft­ed shot. Some­times it is best to play a chip shot. A chip shot con­sists of bump­ing the ball up in the air just enough to get it on the green and rolling. The big ben­e­fit of a chip shot is that it is much eas­i­er to con­trol both the direc­tion and dis­tance when your ball is rolling opposed to fly­ing through the air.

Chip shots can be made with a vari­ety of clubs includ­ing your 7 iron, 8 iron, 9 iron, and wedges. Use your wedges for chip­ping when your ball is clos­er to the hole as they will pro­vide more spin and your ball with roll less. Your less loft­ed clubs are for longer chip shots where you need your ball to roll a greater dis­tance.

The stance and swing for a chip shot dif­fers from a reg­u­lar shot. The ball is played off the inside of your back foot with the han­dle of the club for­ward of the ball. Prob­a­bly the most impor­tant thing to remem­ber about a chip shot is that you strike down on the ball allow­ing the loft of the club to get it in the air. Many ama­teurs make the mis­take of try­ing to scoop the ball into the air.

While the set­up and exe­cu­tion is the same for all of your chip shots regard­less of what club you choose, it is impor­tant to prac­tice chip­ping with all of your wedges all the way down to your 6 or 7 iron. The club you choose will depend on how far away from the hole you are.

In the video below, Peter Finch, shows us how to con­trol our dis­tance when chip­ping.

Spend a seri­ous amount of time chip­ping dur­ing your prac­tice ses­sions. Becom­ing a suc­cess­ful chip­per will most def­i­nite­ly low­er your scores. The short game offers high hand­i­cap golfers the biggest impact on their game with more prac­tice.

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