Chip As If You Were Putting
The chip shot is one of the easiest to learn in the game. Numerous recreational players have trouble hitting the brief chip shot, also after a number of golf direction sessions.
In fact, they’re so bad, they substitute their putter for a wedge, which isn’t always wise, as I explain in my golf lessons.
Using a putter when you need a pitching wedge or a sand wedge is, needless to say, a poor decision.
It can add strokes to your overall score or cost you a hole in match play. It’s a problem you must overcome to lower your golf handicap. If you can’t hit a short chip shot well, don’t despair.
There’s the help.
The inability to hit a short chip shot is as much mental as physical. To overcome these obstacles, you need to simplify both your mental approach and your physical technique.
The next time you have a brief chip shot, attempt making use of an 8 iron rather than a wedge. It’s an approach I sometimes use myself.
That’s because it works.
Below are 6 keys to chipping as if you were putting that I suggest in my golf lessons:
• Replace your wedge with an 8 iron
• Take a normal putting stance
• Place hands and weight forward
• Hold the club vertically
• Hit the ball off the toe-end of the clubface
• Rock your shoulders to control the roll of a ball
First, set-up as if you were going to make a long putt.
Use your normal putting grip and play the ball back in your stance, off the inside of the heel of your back foot. The 8 iron is perfect for this kind of shot because it’s short enough to deloft without the club’s shaft striking you during the shot.
Also, keep your hands and weight forward, favoring your front side, as you would if you were hitting a chip shot. Hold the club vertically, so that the club’s heel is raised off the ground, enabling you to stand closer to the ball.
And spread your elbows
Moving the ball back in your stance and shifting your weight forward positions the ball off the toe-end of the clubhead when you hit it.
Using the toe-end will deaden the ball when you make contact. It will also help control the ball’s roll.
Hit the ball with a gentle rocking of the shoulders, as you would if you were putting.
This method increases the club several inches off the ground in the backswing and also forces you to hit down on the ball a little, chipping it right into the air.
Concentrate on maintaining the width of the gap between your elbows as you swing through. It also ensures a pure arms-and-shoulders motion.
Utilizing the 8-iron approach takes your wrists out of play. Recreational golfers who have a problem making brief chip shots typically have overly energetic wrists.
With my approach, you’ll eliminate your wrists yet still strike the ball solidly—just keep your head still and focus on making a short, firm follow-through.
You can also use my approach for longer chip shots. Just lengthen your stroke to play the long shot, as you would if you were hitting a long putt. For extra long chip shots, try using a 5 or 6 iron to get the required roll.
Chip under Target Drill
The key to accurate chipping is keeping the ball low so it runs like a putt when it hits the ground. Here’s a drill I use in my golf lessons designed to teach players to keep the ball low.
Lay a club or bag flat throughout 2 baskets positioned about three feet apart. Then, step back a few feet and try chipping under the obstacle toward the hole, using either a wedge or an 8 iron.
To chip under the obstacle, you need to deloft the club, which you can do by keeping your hands ahead of the clubhead when you turn.
Having a visual barrier to hit the ball under forces you to create your capacity to keep the ball low.
Keep practicing this shot until it becomes second nature
Hitting the short chip shot well—whether you use a wedge or an 8 iron— is a start toward improving your short game, and chopping strokes of your golf handicap. And aren’t those the real goals?
For more help with your chipping golf game go here.