How to Chip a Golf ball consistently – The Guide to Controlled Chip Shots

If you’ve ever hit a great chip shot one week, only to hit an awful chip shot the next week, then don’t worry – we’ve all been there.

You might know how to hit a great chip shot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can do it consistently.

The key to playing great golf is playing good golf consistently, not one-off amazing fluke shots.

Therefore, the key to hitting great chip shots is doing so consistently.

It also never hurts to watch the pros closely when they chip and see if you can learn a thing or two from their swings!

So in this article, we’re going to go over how to chip a golf ball consistently, but more than anything, you need to practice over and over again.

There are many things you need to remember when you’re trying to hit a good chip so before we get into it, just bear this swing thought in mind: get it in the air!

Let’s get started!

How to chip a golf ball consistently. A golfer chips a ball over a sand bunker onto a green.

How to Chip A Golf Ball Consistently

Ball Position

Your ball position is a complex detail to get down if you want to know how to chip a golf ball consistently.

The most important thing to remember is don’t have the ball in the middle of your stance.

You ideally want the ball towards the front or the rear of your stance. It all depends on what the purpose of your chip is.

If you want a high chip with a lot of backspin, you need to hit down on the ball, which is a lot easier if the ball is slightly back in your stance.

This will help you hit down on the ball, which is what creates backspin.

Alternatively, if you want a slightly longer chip shot and your want the ball to run afterward, for example if you’re chipping up a bank and onto a green, then position the ball slightly forward in your stance.

A golfer watches his shot in the distance.

Legs and weight distribution

Transferring your weight between your legs during your swing is an important technique used by any golfer worth their weight in salt.

Usually, you would want to transfer your weight distribution from your rear leg to your front leg during your swing.

However, things work a little differently with a good and consistent chip shot.

For a chip shot, you actually want to load most of your weight onto your front leg throughout your swing.

This will help you get under the ball as you hit down on it, ensuring that the ball is actually chipped, rather than just hit like a normal shot.

Some golfers find this quite difficult as it can be hard to keep your balance throughout the swing.

If that’s the case for you, we would recommend practicing by making several practice shots and slowly increasing the weight distribution onto your front leg.

You’ll be getting good chipping practice in and working on your balance at the same time!

It’s also important to make sure your feet are placed properly when chipping the ball, and there are two different things you can try.

Some golfers like to have their feet wider apart than their normal position when chipping. This only really works if the ball is forward in your stance and you’re trying to hit a longer shot.

The most common, and most effective, foot position for a chip shot is to have your stance more narrow than usual.

This will also help you hit down on the ball and give you more control over your swing, but again might upset your swing balance, so practice it before you bring it out in a game!

A sign with an arrow pointing to the chipping green for golf practice.

Backswing

If you’re trying to chip the ball with a full backswing, you’re either setting yourself up for failure, or you’re actually just trying to hit a flop shot.

The key to a great chip shot is control, therefore, you should control your backswing, and the best way to achieve this is with a shorter backswing.

A shorter backswing will help you control the power of your swing more precisely and also help you with accuracy.

It might help to think of the chip shot as having a swing sequence more similar to a putting stroke than a typical swing with an iron.

That means that your arms will both remain straight throughout the swing and your shoulders will control the movement, like a pendulum.

You can also increase the shaft lean of your club as you set up in front of the ball. This will also help you get under the ball and make sure it’s lifted into the air.

However, you don’t want to lean your club too much, as this can cause a chunked shot, or you might just hit a bump and run.

A good shaft lean angle will be around 10 degrees, but this can be hard to discern when holding the club, so use your intuition – if it feels like too much, it probably is!

A golfer prepares to chip a golf ball onto the green.

Club speed

This is possibly the most important thing to get right when hitting a chip shot, and also the thing that most golfers struggle with.

To put it simply, you want your club speed to remain consistent throughout your swing.

Many golfers start their downswing and unconsciously slow down as they are about to hit the ball, and some golfers even overcorrect for this and accelerate as they hit the ball.

Slowing down or speeding up in the moments before contact can cause a number of mistakes and swing errors. This is because it can both effect your swing plane and the angle of contact with the ball.

A good way to work on this when practicing how to chip a golf ball consistently is to work on the pendulum motion of your shoulders.

Imagine your arms are a metronome. Every component of your arms and club needs to be moving as one and keeping the same time.

It can help to practice getting this motion right before you make a swing. Try rocking your shoulders left and right, with no clear beginning or end of the swing. This should help you keep the tempo throughout your shot.

Two golfers smile next to a golf buggy.

Have a Pre-shot routine

If you watch any golfers on a PGA tour, they have a pre-shot routine.

It is such a simple yet massively beneficial technique you can add to your arsenal that can improve your chipping immediately.

It’s useful to think of a pre-shot routine like a mantra – a phrase that you repeat yourself to get you in the same headspace for every shot, except rather than just a phrase, you repeat and action with your body.

Be it the golf waggle, or just hitting a few practice shots, getting the tension out of your swing before you step up to the tee can be incredibly beneficial to your overall game.

Usually, we wouldn’t suggest an exact pre-shot routine to try out, as they tend to be unique to each player, however, if you’re learning how to chip a golf ball consistently, we would recommend hitting a few practice shots.

Hitting a few practice shots just next to where your ball has landed can tell you a lot of things about your next shot that are incredibly important if you’re practicing how to chip a golf ball consistently.

Firstly, you want to know about the ground you’re playing off.

Are you playing from the rough or the fairway? Are you chipping off of the apron and onto the green? How long is the grass? Is the ground wet?

All these things are important to know if you’re trying to get your chip quality consistent. The length and the grain of grass can affect the speed of your club as you connect with the ball, how high off the ground the ball sits, and how easy it is to get under the ball.

Secondly, how is the lie?

Since “lie” means a few different things in golf, let me explain.

You want to know what the angle of the turf you’re playing off is like.

Are you playing up hill, or downhill, is the ball higher or lower than you? All of these things can affect the way you make your shot and will force you to set up in front of the ball in different ways.

A good pre-shot routine of a practice shot is key to learning how to chip a golf ball consistently. You want to know everything you can about you shot before you take it.

A golf club next to a golf ball.

Pick the right club

Perhaps the most important tip if you’re learning how to chip a golf ball consistently is to make sure you are using the correct club.

While it is technically possible to hit a good chip shot with any club in your bag, you’re going to have a much easier time learning how to chip a gold ball consistently with a high-lofted club.

For practice, we would recommend anything up from a 7-iron.

If you would rather practice how to chip a golf ball consistently with your 3-wood, be our guest, but don’t expect to make any improvements all of a sudden.

Learning to consistently make good chips comes with time and hours of practice, so make sure you’re setting yourself up for success!

So, that’s our guide on how to chip a golf ball consistently!

Hopefully you can take these tips to your local driving range practice green and start chipping away.

It might be frustrating to get it right at first, but trust me – nothing feels better than hitting a great, smooth chip onto a green and watching it plop down into the hole.

Keep reading and learn how to master another important skill, putting distance!

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