How To Chip In Golf: Chipping is a little shot that can make a ton of difference for you and your game.
Though it looks easy when watching other golfers do it, mastering it can be quite tricky, to say the least. But when you get the hang of it, chipping is one of the fastest ways to lower your score and increase your chances of snagging a hole.
As a beginner, you might be looking to master chipping along with all the other types of shots out there.
Well, look no further! In this article, we’ll go over the basic steps you need to take to learn how to chip in golf.
Related: Chipping vs. Pitching In Golf
Table of Contents
How To Chip In Golf: The Setup
A great rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if there are no slopes, bunkers, or mounds to go over, then a chip shot is great to get the ball rolling.
However, if the ball is only just a little off the green, then a putter will be a safer option.
To set up for a chip shot, do the following:
- Narrow your stance and try to put most, not all, of your weight on your left leg (if you’re right-handed). The shaft of the club should be leaning forward just a little.
- Grip down on the club and lean a little forward. Your sternum should be slightly ahead of the ball.
- Grip with your right hand first and then keep your arm straight.
- Your right shoulder should feel a little higher than your left shoulder.
Reverse these mechanics accordingly if you’re left-handed.
The Swing: Basic Chipping Technique
When making your backswing, fold the right arm and hinge the left wrist.
Not that the wrist should break only a little. That moves the clubhead upward so you can hit down slightly at impact. Do not let any of the shoulders change alignment throughout your swing. Ideally, the weight should also be maintained primarily on your left leg.
You don’t need too much force when chipping the golf ball.
On the downswing, let your right arm unfold while keeping the elbow tucked close to your side. With the wrist bending back again, you should get a nice crip shot of the ball like this.
Keep everything moving forward through the shot and allow your eyes to follow the ball. Don’t stop your head at impact or keep it down too long since you’ll end up just flicking at the ball, resulting in inconsistent striking.
What you want to see is a shot that’s not too high and rolls a little bit upon landing, hopefully on the spot you intended for it.
This shot is relatively easy to explain but hard to put into practice. It does tend to feel unnatural to do but with enough practice, you’ll definitely get the hang of it.
Choosing The Right Club
Though many people might think that a wedge is an ideal club for chipping, don’t reach for it unless you want to chip at a downsloping angle on the green.
To practice chipping, an iron of 9 or 8 should be sufficient. Perhaps, even lower than that. When you have mastered this then you can confidently chip using all the irons.
If you feel like you absolutely have to use a wedge, then a 52- to 56-degree wedge should prove good enough.
Common Mistakes with Chipping
Here are two of the most common mistakes novices make when trying to chip:
You see this mistake often with many golfers trying to chip–they’re flicking at the ball to help it up rather than relying on a good strike.
Keep in mind that clubs have around 60˚ loft or more, so there really isn’t any need to try to lift it up into the air. In fact, this is a problem not just with chipping but in taking shots in general. This only holds it back from reaching the distance it could have otherwise reached had you trusted your strike.
One remedy against this is to push an alignment stick down the shaft of the club. This will sit under your arm at the address. By using this stick, whenever you come down on the ball and an impact is made, the stick will hit your side to let you know that the clubhead is already overtaking you (flicking).
With enough practice, you hopefully won’t need this before too long. Concentrate on making consistently good shots and letting that show for themselves.
One of the main causes of a poor chipping shot is where the heel of the club is digging in on impact, thus causing a heavier contact than needed for a chip shot.
This tends to happen frequently during tricky terrain or a muddy lie. To remedy this, address the ball with the toe of the club down more and the heel a little off the ground.
Though this won’t cause spin and is certainly not something that should be done in all scenarios, it’s a great tip to use if the circumstances call for it. It’ll guarantee contact and eliminate the embarrassment you’ll endure for making a duffed chip.
Use your best judgment as a player when deciding to use this tip. If you use it when making a chip shot on a perfectly good lie, then you’re risking spin, roll, and distance over certainty.
And that was all you needed to know about how to chip in golf. Though not easy by any stretch, nothing in golf really is. Being able to do it properly is a hallmark for a golfer who’s put in the time and patience to master the sport and all its tricks.
So, like with anything, practice makes perfect. Follow these steps, chips frequently by yourself, and play the game as often as possible to develop your decision-making skills. If you do this, there’s no saying how good you’re going to be!