About Golf Chip Shots

By Steve Silverman

Learning to chip in golf is a vital part of the game for all golfers. Unlike the normal golf swing, which is long, complicated and loaded with opportunities to make errors, chipping is relatively simple and also easy to learn. You may struggle with your driver off the tee, have a hard time from the fairway and find putting almost impossible, but you can succeed at chipping and take strokes off your game.
The chip is used regularly after you have come close to the green with your previous shot, but come up somewhat short. Instead of trying to pitch the ball high and soft to get on to the green, you can use the chip shot in order to get there as long as there are no hazards--water or bunkers--in your way.

The grip

Take your left hand and slide it at least halfway down the shaft of your golf club. Take the small finger on your right hand and put it in the groove between the forefinger and middle finger on your left hand. This is the same grip most golfers take for all strokes, except you have slid your hands down to get a greater "feel" for your club.

The stance

Take your stance about 12 to 14 inches from the ball. The ball should be about three or four inches from your back foot and almost all of your weight should be on your front side. In a normal golf swing, the ball is propelled as you transfer your weight from your back side to your front. With a chip, the work is done with the arms and there is no weight transfer.

The swing

Bring the club about 12 to 18 inches back to start your swing. Come forward with good pace through the ball and stop about 12 inches or so after you have made contact. With the chip shot, the ball will roll and bounce. It will only go a few inches in the air. The chip shot is the right choice when you are 10 to 50 yards from the green and there are no hazards in your way. A well-struck chip will finish its journey about five to ten feet from 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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