If you miss hit a drive, you can scramble and end up ok. If you fly or duff an iron, you can still hit a terrific next shot and end up with a par putt.
In each of these situations, and many others, the key is good chipping leads to saved pars. As you read the rest of this tutorial, we are going to give you our 10 best golf chipping tips to help you save as many pars as possible.
Rolling a ball next to the hole for a tap in is one of our favorite things to do, and we believe that these chipping tips will help you do a lot more of that.
10 Best Golf Chipping Tips
1. Know Your Equipment
The 2 main pieces of equipment you need to know are your clubs and your golf ball. Knowledge of your club scomes with experience and practice. You should know about how far your chips will travel for certain swings with specific lofts.
For instance, knowing how far your pitching wedge will travel in the air from the fairway and how quickly it will checkup. Spend a couple of hours doing nothing but chipping into a practice green. Set the ball at different lofts and lies and strike it with different stances with each of your wedges.
You will get a sense of how far each ball will travel and how much you can expect each club to checkup.
It is important that you know the type of ball you are playing as well. If you are playing a Pro VI that will spin like crazy and check quickly or a distance ball like a TaylorMade Noodle that will simply release after it lands on the green.
2. Understand Your Lie
It is also important to get a sense of what a golf ball will do from different lies.
If you are chipping from a tight fairway lie or from the fringe, there is no grass to get in the way and the ball will check quite a bit more.
If you are chipping from light rough then you can still chip but there will be more release and less checking.
If you find yourself close to the green and in deep rough or behind a hazard, it’s time to pull out the lob wedge and see what kind of flop shot you can hit.
3. Stand Close to The Ball and Choke Down on The Club
To achieve more of both, stand close to the ball and choke down on the club a little. This will give you a great sight line for your chip and it will also give you a better chance of compressing your club and hitting down on the ball.
4. Land on The Green Quickly
When I first started playing, I really wanted to learn how to land the ball on the green softly with very little roll. Chipping, in most cases, is a lot different from that.
In fact, the quicker you can get the ball rolling, in general, the more accurate your chip is going to be. When you picture your chip, you should picture it landing on or right past the fringe and rolling towards the hole and you should take your shot accordingly.
5. Weight Forward
In a normal swing, you start with your weight evenly distributed across your feet. You then go through a series of weight transfers that moves pressure to your back foot and ultimately ending up with your weight moving forward.
A chip shot has a lot less movement and very little, if any, weight transfer. In fact, you want to start with your weight forward and end with it forward, making the majority of your swing from your shoulders and arms.
Because your weight begins and stays forward, you will have more of a tendency to make a descending swing.
The “Y” or Triangle drill will help you with this motion. Click here to see how to do that drill and keep your weight forward in your chips.
6. Use Your Shoulders
Successful chipping begins and ends in the shoulders. A chipping stroke is much more similar to a putting stroke than it is a long iron or driver.
You want to keep your arms pretty much straight (not stiff) and you never break your wrists with a standard chip shot. That same pendulum motion that you use for putting should be what you use for your chipping as well.
We have a tendency to try and help the club do the work. Whether we try to “scoop” the ball up with the clubhead or we try to use our wrists to hit underneath the ball as much as possible, both of these tendencies should be avoided.
Focus on moving your shoulders and keeping your hands and wrists straight.
7. Don’t Try to Hole It
Your tendency in chipping will be to try and hole it out every time. This is a great instinct, but in practice can make your chipping worse.
To improve your chipping, picture an area about the circumference of a hula hoop and picture that around the hole. If you can aim for that size circle rather than the hole, you will be more successful and have more confidence in your shot. There is actually a drill called “The Hula Hoop Drill” that can make this come to life for you in your chipping game. Click here and go to the second drill on this page to learn how.
8. Picture Your Shot
Picturing your shot is really important in chipping. You want to choose a spot on the green or fringe where you want to ball to land and then you want to picture what the roll will look like once the ball reaches the green.
Chipping is not a “grip it and rip it” proposition. It is a well planned and executed stroke that gets the ball moving toward the hole and rolling on the green as quickly as possible.
9. Arrive At The Course Early
Every green and every course is different, but the vast majority of golf courses in the world have a practice green. This green is built with the same grass as what you will find on the course and there is almost always a small chipping area that you can use as well.
If you get to the course just a few minutes early, it will give you time to take a few chips onto the green to read their speed and breaks prior to play. This is important for your putting game, but it is equally important for chipping as it builds knowledge of the green and confidence that you know what the ball is going to do.
Chipping is very much a combination of feel and technique. Without practice, neither of these 2 things will be cultivated. We suggest you always include chipping in your range time, you ask an instructor to give you some tips, and you spend time doing drills to work on your stroke and technique.
Most of all, you need to practice. There are indoor putting greens with chipping mats that can help in cold climates and outdoor practice greens at most clubs and driving ranges.
The bottom line is that you will never get better by simply reading and studying what you should do to be a good chipper. You also have to go to the course and put those things into action.
Final Thoughts On Chipping Tips
If you use the tips on the list above, we really believe that your chipping will improve. If your chipping improves, your scores will as well and so will your enjoyment of the game of golf.
It is such a great feeling to stand over a chip and know exactly where the ball is going to go and how it is going to get there. Putting these golf chipping tips into action will help you have that feeling more and more often.
If you used any of these tips to improve your chipping game, let us know in the comment section. Take a video of your new chipping stroke and show us how close you can get the ball to the hole. Also share this with your friends and help them become better at chipping the ball as well.
After all, you never know when you will be playing a scramble and need them to chip the ball as well as you.