How and when to hit a chip and run in golf

The humble chip and run is a golf strategy favored by high handicappers and professionals alike. It’s a reliable technique used by many to get onto the green and save strokes.

While some might confuse the chip and run with the up and down, the two are fairly different, as while an up and down is a similar strategy to save on strokes, the chip and run is actually a different kind of swing.

It’s not quite a chip and not quite a putt, it sits happily between the two in what should hopefully be a simple technique to pick up for anyone looking to improve their game.

Even the pros like Rory Mcilroy like to have this shot in their arsenal when getting onto the green.

The chip and run is both a strategy and a type of swing, but both are easy to pick up and apply. So for anyone looking to save their scorecard with some new golf knowledge, keep reading as we get into what a chip and run is, when to use it, and how it’s done.

Let’s get started!

a golfer hits a chip and run onto the green.

What is a chip and run?

A chip and run is almost not even a chip. It’s called a chip and run because the ball will ideally be in the air for around 3-5 ft, sometimes even less, it all depends on the kind of chip and run you are playing.

After the very short chip, the ball should still have enough momentum to carry it another 20-30ft over a green. Greens are kept in such a way that bulls run more smoothly than on other terrains, so this also helps with carrying the ball over a longer distance.

Even so, you will have to make sure your knowledge of reading greens is up to scratch, as your ball will likely be traveling faster than it would be if you were putting.

While you might expect this kind of shot to use a pitching wedge, a pitching wedge would probably have too much loft for this kind of shot.

Remember, the ball is only in the air for a very short amount of time with this type of shot. It should spend the majority of its journey rolling down the green.

Instead, you’re better off using something like a 7-iron, or even higher depending on your distance from the hole. This will make sure that you have enough loft to get the ball into the air, but not so much that it flies right past the green and you have to try again with a sad looking scorecard.

A golfer chips a golf ball over sand bunkers and onto a green.

Why use a chip and run?

The chip and run is best deployed out of the rough and onto the green.

It’s even more useful if you’re playing a course with an especially large green. That’s because this shot is used to carry the ball a long distance, but on the ground.

You want to chip out of the rough, and have the ball run the rest of the distance. Hopefully straight into the hole, but you’re mostly looking to get it as close as possible.

This is why this kind of shot is also useful for any high handicappers out there. It’s a simple shot that can save you strokes on the green, without the need to hit an amazing shot that astounds all of your golfing buddies.

It’s a reliable, and simple shot that’s easy to learn and easy to use. What’s not to love?

This kind of shot is also quite useful for when you’re playing a pitch and putt, as it’s a great practice for your recovery shots on a full-length course.

And that’s it really! It’s up to your discretion when you want to use one, but just remember not to hit the ball too hard, or else you’ll end up needing to hit another up and down!

a golfer prepares to hit a chip and run onto a green.

How to hit a chip and run

As I commented earlier in this article, the chip and run is not only a strategy to use when you’re close to the green, it’s also a type of swing.

The good thing about this swing technique is that it draws on two swing techniques you should have in your tool belt anyway: the putt, and the chip.

So, lets get into how to hit a chip and run!

1. Putting grip

One of the steps to hitting a chip and run that can really help you out is using your putting grip.

Many golfers will spend hours making sure that their putting grip is correct and strong, but there are very few opportunities to use that grip with other clubs.

However, some golfers like to use the same grip for all of their clubs. We wouldn’t quite recommend that, but if that is the case for you, do whatever feels best, just don’t let it affect your game negatively!

A putting grip will give you more control throughout the swing, and it will also stop you from setting your wrists in the swing, which can contribute to creating more lift in the swing than desired.

Remember, we want the least amount of airtime possible. All you’re looking for is a short chip out of the rough so that the ball can run the rest of the distance on the green.

a golfer hits a chip shot and sprays grass into the air.

2. Choke up on the club

Just like if you’re trying to make a shot out of a sand bunker, to hit a chip and run, you want to choke up on the club.

This means that you want your hands to grip the club further down the shaft than you normally would.

This will give you more control in your swing and also help you limit the amount of power you put into your swing.

After you have you hands in position further down the club with your putting grip, and you’ve set up in front of the golf ball, you also want to make sure that your hands are positioned slightly in front of the golf ball.

If you were looking at yourself making the shot, which you can practice at home using a mirror, your hands would be about 10% more in front of the ball than normal.

This is to help you get that short amount of loft onto the ball to make sure you’re able to chip out of the rough.

Choking up on the club also means that your backswing will have to be shorter. Some golfers choose to have a shorter backswing with all of their swings, as it can help you control the power in your shots, but it also is a sure-fire way to make sure you don’t shoot past your target.

a golf ball rests on the green next to the hole.

3. A narrow and closer stance

Just like when you’re putting, for this shot you want your stance to be narrower than usual, and you ant to stand closer to the ball than you normally would off the green.

The purpose of this is to limit the amount of loft in the swing.

This will also change the shaft angle of your club and inevitably affect your swing plane.

This means that, like a putt, the motion of this swing will come from your shoulders.

You want to swing your shoulders like a pendulum. For golfers with a lot of tension in their swing, this motion can be difficult and might lead to the dreaded yips, so it’s worth taking a few practice swings to get into the tempo of the swing.

Standing closer to the ball when making your swing also means that you will inevitably have to stand up more in your swing. This means less flexion in your knees, and less of a hinge at your waist.

This therefore means that there will be far less movement and rotation in your swing, which will change the way you distribute the weight in your swing.

a golfer hits a chip shot with a narrow stance.

When setting up before hitting this shot, it’s worth making sure that your weight is slightly more distributed onto your front leg before your swing.

This will help you get the loft you need to get out of the rough and onto the green but, if you are following the other steps correctly, will not give your shot too much loft and your ball will still run on the green.

So that’s our guide to hitting a chip and run in golf!

It’s a great tool to have in any golfer’s arsenal and can really help you get out of a tricky situation.

Like all types of swing, it should be practiced before you take it out on to the course. You don’t want a shot like this to backfire on you during a tense game!

We hope that you can use this shot to your advantage in your upcoming games and, just remember, walk before you can run. Start hitting a consistent chip and run before you start trying to chip into the hole.

Golf is all about the fundamentals, and we’re here to help you build those skills!

Keep reading and learn how to add more diversity to your short game!

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