How to Chip Properly

By Steve Silverman

Chipping the ball toward the hole is an important skill for all golfers to learn. It's a relatively simple stroke--certainly compared to a drive or a long fairway shot--but it requires precision and a decisive touch. Learning to chip well can take 5 strokes or more off your score for an 18-hole round. Learning how to chip will also make playing a round of golf a much more enjoyable experience.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Take your 7- or 8-iron. These are the clubs that are best used for chipping. When you are chipping you should be anywhere from 25 to 75 yards from the hole. You will be hitting a low, bouncing shot that will stop somewhere within 15 feet of the hole.
Step 2
Assess the hole you are playing. If you are close to the hole, you normally will want to pitch the ball high in the air and land it softly on the green. However, if there are no hazards in your way--water or sand--then you can take the option of hitting a low pitch to the green.
Step 3
Bring your club back to about knee level on your back swing. Come forward and through the ball without breaking your wrists. Follow through until your club has reached knee level.
Step 4
Put your weight on your front leg. Unlike most shots, you are not shifting your weight from your back leg to your front. Instead, you come through with a half swing and try to direct the ball to the hole.
Step 5
Make sure that you don't slow your swing down as you come through the ball. For the chip to be successful, you have to finish the swing even though you don't have a full backswing or a full follow-through. You are trying to create enough momentum for your ball to run up the fairway and to the green.

Tips & Warnings

Keep your wrists stiff and do not break them when chipping the ball to the hole.

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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