Outside of putting, chipping is the easiest stroke to master and become consistent with. How do we define a chip shot? In my opinion, a chip shot will be on the ground for a longer amount of time then it will be in the air. The ball will roll to the hole rather than fly to the hole. So, enjoy these tips and get out there and practice!
1. Back Ball Position
I often see players setting up to hit a chip shot with the ball setup to the left (for the right handed golfer) of their sternum or chin. When playing a chip, we are looking to create a descending strike on the ball, having the ball forward in your stance makes this much more difficult. When addressing a chip shot, make sure the ball is positioned to the right side (for right handed golfers) of your chin and sternum by approximately two inches. This will greatly increase your chances of creating a descending strike on the ball and hitting the golf ball before you hit the ground.
2. Forward Shaft Lean
To increase our chances of hitting the golf ball before we trike the turf, push your hands towards the target. Your hands should be in line with your left thigh (right handed golfer), this will create forward shaft lean to help improve the strike.
3. Lean Weight Forward
Weight positioning is huge in every aspect of golf and chipping is no different. When positioning your weight at address, don’t just sit into your left side (right handed golfer), but lean into the left side. A good way to think of this is to imagine a tall leaning tower and make your body memic that picture. The tower can’t just lean it’s top without falling over, everything must lean. When done properly, you should have approximately 70% of you weight of your lead foot. When you’re making the stroke, make sure to maintain that position through the shot. Don’t let your weight shift to your trail foot.
4. Get Cozy
Is it possible to stand too close to the ball? Yes. Although, most player don’t stand close enough. For practice, try to hit a chip shot standing further away from the ball and then on the next shot, stand closer. See which one is more comfortable and which one gives you the most control. I think you will be surprised.
5. Keep it Together
After you have setup, it’s time to visualize where you want the ball to land and make the shot. The key is to keep everything together. The forward shaft lean should stay intact throughout the swing, you shouldn’t break your wrists. Imagine you are making a putting stroke with your arms. By having your weight leaned into your lead side, your hands forward, ball position back, and standing close you will created a downward attack angle. Assuming you hit the ball first, the ball will hop off of the clubface and go toward your target.
If you practice these techniques I guarantee that you will see an improvement in your chipping and start to get the ball closer to the hole. Don’t be afraid to try this with different clubs so you can get a feel for the way the ball will react with different clubface lofts. Get out there and practice!