Most shots are lost around the green.
Chipping is one of the most problematic areas for beginners in golf – for several reasons.
- The swing is much shorter, much more compact – allowing for little time to square the hands at impact.
- Different LIES – each lie is different, hence each chip is a little different. This is unlike a tee shot – where, for the most part, you are guaranteed a near level lie.
The ONE Fundamental of Chipping
The ball has to be struck with a crisp, downward blow. That is all there is to the chip. If you can accomplish this, you can chip with any club – from any lie whatsoever. I have even successfully chipped out of sand bunkers.
The ONE Technique
While there are many ways to foil a chip, there is only ONE way to hit it correctly (and that is with a crisp, downward blow). Here is a simple technique for accomplishing this:
The idea is to keep the grip ahead – waaay ahead of the clubface – at all times.
To get a feel for this, simply grip down on an iron (say your PW).
Now swing back and through WITHOUT letting the grip touch your body (see image below). This should result in a sharp, downward strike !
The Analogy with common CHIPPING Instruction
Most commonly, instructors will ask you to maintain a straight LEFT WRIST while chipping. This is good advice – but guess what? If you just follow the drill above, you will automatically attain a straight left wrist at impact (see image above).
Also, golf coaches almost FORCE you to keep you weight on your FRONT foot. I found this very difficult to do. However, the drill above takes care of this aspect too.
You see – the whole idea behind keeping the weight on your front foot is to provide a DOWNWARD blow to the ball. Simply keeping your grip ahead of the ball will accomplish exactly this.
This SINGLE chipping drill is all you need to chip like the pros. It teaches you to keep your hands ahead of the club at all times. Which leads to the one fundamental of the chip – a crisp, downward strike!
Once you get used to this feeling of the hands being ahead of the club at all times, you will be able to chip with ANY club – including a 3 iron. Moreover, no lie will prove to be difficult – uphill lies, downhill lies…even bunker lies (provided the ball isn’t buried too deep).
In fact, I routinely chip it out of bunkers – as do several other golfers.
Choking down on the grip provides you with far more control – whereas keeping the grip away from the body results in a downward strike.
Try this for a couple of days and see if it infuses a certain ‘crispiness’ to your chip shots.