The chip shot is one of the most important shots in any golf player’s repertoire. A chip shot, simply put, is one which spends more time on the ground than in the air. The ball is hit with a lower trajectory, lands on the green and rolls into hole, using as much green as possible. Chip shots can be used when missing the green or need to get out from the rough onto the fairway. For a more controlled shot, chip shots are the way to go. Learn how to develop this skill and use it to one’s own advantage on the golf course.
Some key elements are important to keep in mind when learning to hit a great chip shot that maximizes the overall score and builds mastery of the skill. Try the following:
Club Selection: use any club in the bag after determining distance the ball needs to travel in the air versus amount of green to work with. Rule of thumb: the more loft, the less roll.
Aim: focus on two obvious targets to hit which includes an intermediate target on Green (where one wants the ball to land) and the Hole or Bull’s Eye (use the intermediate target where ball rolls into the hole, take practice swings and imagine ball going into that hole).
Set-up: Try four simple set-up positions to guarantee a better chip shot
- Place feet slightly ‘open’ towards intended target, not pointing at the target
- Ball should be behind middle of one’s stance
- Weight be slightly into forward hip (60-80 percent)
- Hands low on the grip/handle of the club
Master the Swing
The chip shot swing has little to no wrist hinge and is made mainly from the shoulders and arms with the lower body solid as the person makes the backswing and moves forward slightly as the swing finishes. Try the following pointers for mastering a chip shot swing:
- Backswing: maintain a ‘triangle’ between shoulders, arms and hands. Use front shoulder to push the club back to a position where wrists barely want to hinge.
- Downswing: maintain a ‘triangle’ as the down swing starts with hips turned towards the target. The back of the top hand stays ahead of the club head and faces the target as the club swings through the shot.
- Throughswing: keep ‘triangle’ intact as hips slightly release weight from front side as arms release club through shot.
Improve Chip Shots
The average golfer is prone to some common flaws when executing a Chip Shot. Some of the flaws include:
- Incorrect set up to the ball.
- Trying to ‘lift’ ball into the air
- Failure to land ball at or near intended target
Overall improvement of a person’s chip shot takes practice, patience, and persistence. Practice drills five to ten minutes every day to help the brain and body connect on the set-up and swing positions desired for mastery of the chip shot and overall golf game.