Chipping The Golf Ball
In golf, chipping is most likely one of the more – less extravagant shots that you can be found in contact with often. Yet it is one of the most important areas of competency when it comes to shaving strokes off your game.
You’ll struggle mightily to find a lower handicap golfer that isn’t a good chipper of the golf ball. It’s a curious irony to me when I see and work with mid to higher handicappers that spend so little time on improving their merit around the greens.
If this description fits you, think about it for a moment… by definition higher handicap golfers are not going to hit the greens as often and as such, they are going to leave themselves with chip shots much more often.
So why not spend some time getting better at chipping and immediately start taking strokes off your game.
I can tell you unequivocally, that if you are a higher handicap golfer, spending some time to improve your chipping skills will save you at least one to two strokes per hole … currently, that’s some major scoring … would not you concur?
Much of chipping around the green is confidence and with practice, your confidence will improve along with your chipping so it has a snowballing effect.
Let’s take a look at a few elements of chipping that will get you going in the right direction and on your way to lowering your golf score.
First of all, select the right tool for the job. One problem or mindset that many get in to is that; if I’m around the green and am going to chip … I use my pitching or sand wedge. If this is you, I want you to learn to select the proper club for the shot that is required.
Let me back up slightly… first, evaluate the shot and where you want the ball to land… then get the club out that is going to do that job best for you. These first two items are your approach the chip shot that you have in front of you.
If you’re not sure about what club imparts what type of behavior on the golf ball, just try different clubs and shots around the practice green… work to get comfortable with several different clubs and approaches to your chipping.
The physical aspects of chipping are very straight forward.
You want to keep your hands slightly ahead of the clubhead… both in your set up and as your hands and club pass through the impact zone.
Press your weight slightly forward during your set up and keep your weight pressed slightly forward throughout your chipping motion.
Use a one-piece take-a-way and motion. This is a biggie with higher handicappers… they tend to get ‘flipping’ with their hands.
When this happens the tendency is for the clubhead to begin to accelerate past the hands (a bad thing). And the result is the club either ‘chunks’ behind the ball or you struck the dreadful blade shot clear across the green.
Never decelerate the club as you come into the hitting zone. Confidence plays a big part in this for people who aren’t good chippers. To get yourself to consistently accelerate through the shot.
When you are practicing, initially don’t worry so much about a precise target and if you are going fly the ball too far past. Simply function on a smooth chipping motion getting in touch with every single shot. When you grasp the activity, we’ll work on range control.
I’ve gotten a bit long here and I still want to cover a bit more on the swing. Club selection for you, as well as some drills; but for now, just get yourself out there and work on these few basics and making good consistent contact.
And I’ll be back with soon and we will continue our work on lower your score by getting the ball much closer to the hole with your chipping game. Until next time… remember – practice makes permanent.
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