Golf Tips on Chipping

By Kevin D. Boehler

Chipping is one of the most underrated and under-practiced parts of the golf game. Chipping is the one thing that can hold a round together or make it fall apart. If a golfer is missing a lot of greens and struggling with his swing but he knows that his chipping is good and he can still get up and down for pars, then he will not be as stressed as a golfer that knows he won't get up and down with chipping. Less stress equals a golf swing that is not as tense, which will help a golfer that is confident in his chipping swing better and more fluidly.

Setup

Chipping requires a minimal amount of lower body action, so placing the feet close together with the weight on the golfer's front foot and slightly open to the golf hole will allow enough room for the upper body to swing freely without having to manipulate the lower body. Gripping down toward the bottom of the grip and standing a little closer to the ball will give the golfer much more control over the club head so that solid contact can be made. The ball for a normal chip shot is usually placed in line with the golfer's back foot to promote a descending blow to impart backspin.

Swing

The swinging motion of a chip shot is started by the shoulders. Using the shoulders to chip will help to create a consistent chipping motion because there is little other motion other than the shoulders moving and the arms and hands following. Using the hands and arms to chip requires much more practice and precise timing to do consistently. Under pressure, chipping with the hands and arms becomes much more difficult because the body becomes more tense and timing is thrown off as opposed to using the big muscles in the shoulders that require very little timing.

Aiming

Chipping is a mix of the full swing and putting because you have to both use a shortened version of a golf swing as well as read the green so that the ball has the best chance of getting close or even into the hole. Before a chip is performed, a golfer should look at the slope of the green and know how the ball will roll once it is on the green, then the golfer should pick out a spot on the green where the ball will land and begin to roll toward the hole. That is the spot the golfer should aim at, not the hole.

About The Author

Kevin Boehler attended the University of Nebraska, where he attained a degree in professional golf management. Boehler enjoys teaching golf to others, helping them not only play better, but love the game as well. He has a vast knowledge of the golf swing and a variety of other golf-related information.

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