Introduction to chipping golf technique
On the face of it, the chip shot seems a much easier option for a golfer to learn compared with driving a golf ball from the tee.
However, learning a proper chipping golf technique to perfect the chip shot will take a lot of practice, because it is more about feel.
Unlike the drive where the swing is paramount, the chip shot needs to be played more as a delicate push shot with minimal backswing.
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A chip shot is usually played from around the green pitching up to the hole.
It can be played with a variety of different clubs depending on the distance from the pin, the contours of the green as well as the speed of the green.
For instance, a pitching wedge shot is going to be more lofted and more likely to stop within a couple of feet, whereas an eight iron with its lower trajectory is a chip and run shot.
Chip or chip and run
Pick the spot: The first thing you need to do is choose your target which is the spot you are going to land your ball on.
You need to assess the pin position to allow the ball to pitch and then run out.
If the green is slow and the ground soft the ball will not run far, so a pitching wedge may stop close to the hole without running.
Visualize the shot: Try to imagine the shot in your mind’s eye before hitting it.
Even though the chip shot seems simple it is vital to focus to get the best result.
By visualizing the shot and concentrating on where you want the ball to land you will rid your mind of any negative thoughts and nagging doubts about club selection.
Practice shot: Always have a couple of practice swings to feel in your mind how the club will cut through the fringe on impact.
It is surprising the different feel you will experience between the different lofts of the clubface.
Swing speed control is vital to good contact with the ball.
Posture: There is no need for a huge backswing on this shot once you have taken your stance as the control will come from the follow-through.
Keep your body weight on the front foot so that your arms and shoulders can move in unison. The ball will be positioned more towards your back foot to allow the club to lift it on impact.
Point of Impact: Maintain your regular grip on the club, firm but flexible keeping hands ahead of the clubhead.
You have to hit the bottom of the ball to propel it into the air and accelerate at the point of impact to avoid quitting on the follow-through.
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Chipping and putting are the areas of the game where most shots are lost with novice players.
There can be nothing more infuriating than to be on the edge of a par-five hole in two shots and walk off with a six because the chip was too long or nowhere near the hole.
Follow the guidelines above and practice different chipping shots as often as possible and you will soon shave shots off your score and lower your handicap.
There is a video at the bottom of this page that you can refer to which will help to imprint the techniques when you are next on the course.
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