Basic Chipping Tips to Improve Your Golf Score

By Jim McLean

The Basics of Chipping a Golf Ball

Chipping is when we are trying to get the ball to hit the green and then roll. Get it on the ground quick and let it roll to our target when we are just three, five or six yards off the green. The chipping stroke is done with a preset idea.

  • We are going to set up exactly how we want to return the golf club.
  • That means hands ahead, your weight is a little bit forward and you are positioned just the way you want to return that golf club.
  • You are just going to take it back a short distance, hit the golf ball and then you are going to resist. I do not want to see the club twisting, turning or the wrists flicking through impact. No flicking here at all. We want to be nice and solid.

Some Golfers Prefer a Weaker Grip While Chipping

Having said that there is the slightest bit of wrist break usually on a chip, there is a little bit of backward bending of the right wrist. That gets the club up so that you can strike down, and then you go forward. The other thing that I have seen a lot of good chippers do is turn the left hand over a little weaker, over to the left. That puts me in a position where I can not twist the club. That weaker grip makes it easier to keep the clubface square.

Control Chipping Distance with Solid Contact

Nothing replaces practice with chipping. You need to hit quite a few chips so that you can get used to hitting the center of the clubface all the time. That is how you can control distance, by having great contact time after time. I am going to go at that far pin, I have a pitching wedge right here. I am going to sting this ball and I am going to hold my finish or stick the finish. I let the ball hit the ground and run to the pin. I want to get that ball up and into a very close circle. From this distance, probably a 40 five foot chip, we would like to get it to within that three foot circle so that we have that nice little tap in. You can do it by having a very simple chipping stroke.

  • My stance is a little bit open, that allows me to see my target.
  • My weight is a little bit left.
  • My hands are forward and then I make a very simple stroke.
  • A little backwards bending of the right wrist like this and then I hold that going through.

Don't Have a Frozen Golf Stance While Chipping

One other little tip, try to get away from being totally frozen. I see people sometimes come out, they get rigid and they get absolutely steady and they are very robotic looking. All great chippers to me look like they have a little bit of feel, just a little bit of action in the legs. Just a little bit going through, you are not absolutely frozen.

Practice Chipping Before You Play

Try to use those ideas, get out to the chipping green, practice hitting the chips. Get several clubs that you chip well with, maybe your pitching wedge or your 9-iron, your 8-iron or 7-iron for the running chips, and get a very simple method for doing. Get great contact each time and you will be able to control your distance.

About the Instructor

Jim McLean
Jim McLean
Jim McLean Golf School
Doral Golf Resort and Spa
4400 NW 87th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178
Tel: 800-72-DORAL