The greenside chip shot. It looks like an easy shot and is an easy shot but so often we confuse ourselves with the wrong thoughts. The best way to play this shot is to realize that it is a very close relative to the putting action. Therefore, don't introduce too many moving parts, think of playing this shot as a one lever action.
How to Chip
The shaft and the left arm work as a unit with no breakdown at the left wrist joint. The right hand has a very soft roll to play. It just very lightly hinges and holds on the way through. It is that action that sweeps the ball into the air using the loft of the club you are going to use. The skill is having the touch and the understanding to pick the right club. Let me demonstrate this shot for you. The ball position is back of center towards the right foot. This puts the hands just in front of the ball and allows me a crisper contact. Remember it's a one lever action with a soft right hand.
3 Club Options for Chipping the Ball
- You can choose to play this shot with a 4-iron if you want the ball to run further, let me show you. Here we use the 4-iron to get the lower trajectory so if you have a longer chip shot instead of trying to hit your 7-iron harder play this one. Same technique. The loft on the club does the job for us.
- Now we have a shorter one, let's take a 9-iron. Remember, same technique, same ball position and same feeling in the shot. It's the loft that is doing the job for us. Whether it is a high lofted like a 9-iron, mid lofted club like a seven or a straight-faced club like a 4-iron.
- Tiger Woods has introduced a new shot to golf; it's the chip with the three-wood. By using this chip shot what he has done is taken the broad sole of the club and taken away the chance of fluffing the shot when you have a tight lie or a little snag around the ball. It's exactly the same action but you use a three-wood and you don't have to hit it too hard and the ball just rolls up the green. It is really a safe shot but sometimes you have to practice a lot to get the touch on different greens.
The ball will react differently so learn how to hit that three-wood shot if you have aspirations of being like Tiger Woods. If not stick with the irons: four, seven, 9-iron, they'll do the job for you and you'll get away with turning three shots into two more often.