how to chip in golf
THE EDIT: THE ART OF CHIPPING
From Tom Watson's famous 1982 U.S Open short chip from the thick nearside to the green rough, Tiger Woods 2005 Masters moment to Seve's short game prowess, the subtle chip has given us some of the most dramatic moments in the game of golf.
We could all benefit from finding a reliable chipping technique. Putting in some practice time and working on your own artful chipping ways could be the key to take some shots off your score. If you are a typical bogey golfer, the likelihood is you won't hit too many approach shots onto the green in regulation. A good chip can.save some pars or even better set up that lovely birdie putt.
The game of golf requires good short game shots to score well. So here we have compiled a curated list of chipping tips from PGA pros and some of the games most knowledgeableand revered coaches.
PAUL LAWRIE - 'Chippy' 8 time European Tour Winner and winner of The Open at Carnoustie. Famous for his chipping ability, hence his nickname.
"I always place the ball in the back of my stance. The further back you have the ball position the easier to hit the golf ball and turf at the same time. I play the ball opposite my right toe (my back foot) for most of my chip shots with my hand opposite my left thigh. I don't have a lot of wrist hinge, I keep them fairly stiff as I feel this allows for more consistent solid contact. Use your shoulder to turn and make connection giving you better control.
Dependent on how far you are from the green will dictate the type of wedge to use. If close to the green use a high lofted club if further away a lower lofted club. The aim is to get the ball onto the green as soon as you can and let the ball roll for the most successful chip.
DAVE PELZ - the short game guru has this golf tip for a stock basic chip shot
Through his experience Dave has seen some common golf chipping.problems. Many golfers get handsy, a common mistake. They put the ball forward in their stance or in the middle of their stance. It they get anxious, they hit the chip fat. After struggling with fat chips, they can start skulling chips to avoid chunking the ball. “There’s an easier way,” Pelz says. “The truth is, all you need to do is make a right-sized swing and hit it solid. That’s the only thing this shot requires. Make the right length of swing so it has the right power. And don’t hit it fat or thin. Just hit it solid, or anywhere near solid.”
Put the ball back in your stance. Flare your toes forward so that your hips open a little bit. Then just move back and through
“Put a little swinging motion on it. And then learn how far the ball goes. Because it’s going to be low and running. There’s going to be no backspin to deal with. There’s no fat shots to deal with. All you have to do is learn the right-length swing for the right-length shot for the best results. As for club selection, providing you have a good lie on short grass, I will often use an 8 iron as opposed to a sandwedge, you don't have to worry about the bite and it makes distance control much. "
PHIL MICKELSON - Lefty - a legend of the short game and the full swing flop shot, a master of the lob wedge. He provides these key tips for a proper chip
Weight on the front foot
“There is only one way to chip.” With 60 degrees of loft and a sharp leading edge, you have to keep that edge down if you want to produce consistently solid contact.
In order to make it easier to keep that leading edge down, you must set up with your weight on your front foot. If you are leaning and have your weight back, that leading edge will come up and you will blade your ball across the green.
Decide on low or high
Another key is deciding if you want to hit your shot low or high before you even step into the ball. If you want to hit it low, the ball position should be off your back foot. If you want to go high, the ball should be place off your front foot. “It’s never in the middle of your stance,” Mickelson says. “If it’s in between your feet, you now can’t put your weight forward, or you’ll go over the top of it.” If you try to put the ball in the center of your stance, your weight will level out and you will scoop the ball. This is a big short game no-no.
Make an inverse line
The last key according to Mickelson is making sure your arm and the club have an inverse line. Essentially, this means you need a slight forward press in your hands to get the club in the correct position for crisp contact. “Once it’s locked in, the leading edge stays down,” Mickelson says.
SANDY LYLE - Masters Champion clock system.
With all my chip shots I play with a 7.30 backswing and go through and hold the finish. If you go on the driving range and work your way through your wedges from your sand wedge to your pitching wedge you will find out your distances from short distance to longer distance, utilise your gap wedge. It's a great way to add a consistent pitch shot and give you some confidence to know you can hit good chips on the golf course.
I wish I had the system 30 or 40 years ago, I would have been a much better player. Those 60 yards shots and in area a really important part of the game. Next time you have a little practice, pick your choice of club, have a play and pick some different distances. The btter players always spend a lot of time on chipping drills.
SEVE BALLESTEROS - The magician: routine and visualisation
First, he spent some time studying the lie, focusing on how the ball was sitting on the grass itself., whether the lie was flat or sloping, uphill or downhill. Why? Because he knew that all of those factors affect the starting direction and trajectory of the ball. Different situations require different shots, so before you put your club head behind the ball, give the lie a check.
Second, he would look at the hole. This was Seve’s way of getting a feel for the total distance to the cup.
Third, he would stand still and ‘See the shot’. Literally he would generate and watch a ‘video clip' of how he saw the best possible shot happening based on the lie, slope, green speed and distance to the hole.
Fourth, he would then match a club to the shot. Fifth, he would rehearse the feel of the shot. Most often Seve would make right arm only swings back and forth without a club. to get a feel for the pace of movement he wanted in his arms and hands, then lastly, he would take a few practice swings with the same motion.
LEE TREVINO - The Mercurial Mexican and The Texas Wedge.
Trevino’s first rule in short game is to keep the hands ahead of the club at all times (unless hitting a flop shot). In other words, the handle always leads.
“Good wedge players, if you watch them, the left wrist & hand goes the same speed as the clubhead,” Trevino said. A good practice drill to help lead with the hands is to line up five balls horizontally and hit five consecutive shots without re-positioning the club. When Trevino finished demonstrating the drill, he said, “If you have to re-set, chances are you aren’t a good wedge player.”
Trevino touts the importance of foot alignment and prefers a narrow stance when chipping. “If you’re too wide, you are going to move your body all over the place,” he said. “You always want the golf club to go in the direction that your feet are pointed. Then ask yourself these questions: How short is the shot? Do you have an open stance or a closed stance? Or are you square? That’s all there is to chipping.”
But don't hesitate to use the Texas Wedge. Before making it on Tour, Trevino worked at Hardy’s Pitch-n-Putt, a practice range and nine-hole course in Dallas. Trevino practiced until he became so deadly accurate on its greens that he won matches putting one-handed. In fact, he often had to play without his flatstick in bets. Trevino suggests using the putter off the green, too. “That’s always been my philosophy,” he said. “If the fairway is mown short enough to putt it, why would you chip it off a tight lie? You’ve got to be a pro to do it. Hell, in El Paso, we’d putt from 50-100 yards off the green sometimes.”
TIGER WOODS - GOAT - Discovery
Tiger says the secret is self-discovery. Developing a full-fledged short game is a good idea for any golfer, but how you do it is up to you. “Some guys like to think of the body, like chest open [through impact]. I’m terrible at it,” he says. “I’m good at either throwing my hands at the ball, throwing them behind, releasing early, releasing late, dragging them, flipping them. My hands are what I contact the club with, so I see shots with my hands.”
Ultimately, it’s about putting in the time to find out what’s right for you through trial and error. “I’ll spend hours hitting different shots and seeing what works and what doesn’t,” says Tiger. “I enjoy rolling it out, hitting it high, hitting it low, making it do different things. Going back to my open-mindedness—it has allowed me to pull some shots off that, quite frankly, most people didn’t see. But I did.”