It’s one of the areas of our game that gets the least attention, yet mastering how to chip it close to the hole is a skill that will save you many shots in a round. Every seasoned golfer knows this and spends countless hours practicing their short game, especially chipping and pitching. Practicing your chipping with 9 irons, 8 and 7 irons and of course sand wedge and gap wedges of different degrees, gives them the ability to chip it close more often, and get up and down from any area around the green.
These golf instruction tips for chipping it close, will give you a better, more consistent set up and swing to master this important aspect of your golf game.
The first thing we need to learn and accept is the proper set up for chipping. Our weight should be on our lead side, (the side closest to the pin) with the golf ball slightly toward the back of our stance, opposite our right foot. Your stance would be slightly open and narrower than your usual set up for a swing.
The grip and hands are pushed forward toward the target, so that your grip position is now directly below the centre of your chest. Keep the grip pressure firm but relaxed, maintain that grip pressure throughout the swing until post impact. I find it’s a good idea to practice with maybe an 8 iron to gain a better feel for how the shot comes out and the way it bounces and rolls onto the green and up to the pin. Try it with other clubs too, get comfortable trying different scenarios from varying distances and see how each come off the club and roll. (the bump and run)
In the backswing, hinge the club slightly with your right hand and hold that until you have almost completed the swing, meaning don’t allow the club head to pass under your lead hand before impact. The back of that hand should be closer to the target than the ball is at impact. On the takeaway, the club must go back straight along the target line and not back on an inside path. Make a good swing and don’t try to scoop a chip shot into the air, it’s a common problem for amateurs, but with this technique you will eliminate that error and make solid contact on the back of the ball.
So, the sequence goes like this:
- Take your stance to address the ball, slightly open and narrow.
- Have about 65% of your weight over your front foot.
- Position the ball at the back of your stance.
- Take your grip firmly but relaxed.( pressure about 6 out of 10)
- Hinge the club slightly with your right hand.
- Push the grip forward in line with the middle of your chest.
- Take the club back on target line not from inside plane.
- Maintain grip ahead of ball and grip pressure in follow through.
- There is very little weight shift in this swing, keep it minimal.
Post impact it’s ok to release the club a little and remember not to tense up at all. Take the time to practice the bump and run with your 8 iron and other clubs too, so you can be more efficient at chipping it close from distances all around the greens. You’ll definitely reduce your scores by consistently and methodically practicing with your short game, it pays off.
Using the gap wedge for chipping is a particularly good choice in some circumstances inside of 20 yards, because it’s the perfect 50/50 golf club. When you hit a standard chip with it, the ball flies half the distance in the air and the other half along the ground, making your chipping much simpler. The technique is a little different than I described above, you still take a narrow stance with your weight distributed more over your lead foot. Turn back and through with a little weight shift and very passive hands with almost no wrist cock. Keep your left wrist flat through impact and maintain the ‘V’ that is formed with your arms throughout the swing, let the club release just a little on the finish.
If you liked these tips and believe that they can help you chip better, why not let me know by making a comment below or Tweeting and sharing it, it’s quick and easy and I’d appreciate the feedback. Thanks for visiting Golf Instruction Tips.