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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