How to Chip it to Tap-in Range

By Steve Silverman

Honing chipping skills in golf is a must for golfers who want to improve their game and score better on a consistent basis. The swing is relatively easy to learn, but the golfer must practice it regularly in order to get a good feel for different shots.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Use your 7-iron when you want to chip the ball to the green from about 70 yards. Many golfers will pitch the ball from this distance, but a chip can be effective if there are no hazards in your way and you have a clear view of the green. The chip is very effective in the heat of summer when the fairway has gotten a bit harder after getting baked from the sun. Hit the ball as if it were an elongated putt, with your wrists stiff. Don't take your eye off the ball until you finish your stroke.
Step 2
Use your 8-iron to chip from 40 yards or less. You need to keep stiff wrists when hitting the chip. Bring your club back to mid-thigh level and bring it forward to about the front of your knee. Your goal is to bounce the ball up to the green and have it roll to within 5 feet of the hole.
Step 3
Try to chip the ball out of the tall grass so you can get close to the hole. A pitch shot from tall grass will likely result in a mis-hit because the club will get caught up in the tall grass. A chip shot will get through the vegetation and should get you near the hole.
Step 4
Use your 9-iron when you are chipping from just outside the fringe. The idea is for the ball to hop to a spot about halfway to the hole and then roll the rest of the way to the hole. Again, use a putting motion to get the ball in motion.
Step 5
Go to the driving range and practice your chipping. It is not a difficult shot, but it takes great feel to get it right. Hit 10 shots each with the 7-iron, 8-iron and 9-iron.

Tips & Warnings

Use your creativity to visualize a successful chip shot. The text book may say you should try a pitch or a different shot, but a chip shot can help you minimize errors and keep the ball in bounds and away from hazards.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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