Ratio Chipping: How to Choose the Right Club

By Mike McGetrick

One of the questions I am often asked in golf is how do I know what club to use when I am chipping. I am going to share with you a ratio system that hopefully will answer that question.

Chipping: How to Calculate Distance

In chipping what you want to do is land the ball on the front of the green and allow the ball to roll to the hole. I have a white disc here, and your landing area should be approximately three feet from the edge of the fringe right here, so I place the disc down there.

The reason that you want it there is that it is easier to hit a target closer to you than further away, and number two, the sooner you get the ball on the ground the sooner it will roll like a putt and you will have more control over it.

Choosing the Right Club for Chipping

Now as far as club selection goes, what you have to know is that there are two different distance factors: from the golf ball to your landing area is one distance, and then from your landing area to the hole is your second distance. A sand wedge is one to one ratio, meaning one part carry in the air one part roll on the ground.

A pitching wedge is a one-to-two ratio, 9-iron is one-to-three, 8-iron is one-to-four and all the way up. So all you have to know is from the golf ball to your landing area, that distance, and then from the landing area to the hole as your second distance. Let’s walk this one off, so starting from the ball I have four steps to the landing area.

Calculate Your Pitching Ratio

Now from my landing area to the hole I have eight steps, so if I divide four into eight I have a one to two ratio, and a one to two ration is a pitching wedge. What I want to do is set up with my pitching wedge and land the ball on the front of the green and let it roll to the hole.

A good way to remember what club to use, always subtract the ratio from the number twelve and it will give you the right golf club. If you have a one to five ration, five from twelve would be a 7-iron. The only adjustment you will make is if you have slow greens or fast greens, uphill or downhill you will adjust your ratio system. So if I had a one to four ratio, which is an 8-iron, and I am going uphill, I would like to use a 7-iron.


Category: Club Selection
Sub Categories: Chipping, Distance

About the Instructor

Mike McGetrick
Mike McGetrick
McGetrick Golf Academy
4900 Himalaya Road, Building Q
Denver, CO 80249
Tel: 303-799-0870