Let’s face it, we could all use some extra practice with our short game. And while we might not think so, the humble chip shot can bulletproof your game.
It might not be the coolest-looking shot to some, or you might not get to show off your strength with a club, but as far as we’re concerned there’s nothing more impressive than a controlled and accurate chip shot.
If your scorecard has been struggling lately, it might be time to start thinking about new ways to approach your game, one of them is a renewed focus on the chip.
So if you’re looking to play a diverse and interesting game with precision and class, keep reading as we go over the various ways you can improve your chip shot.
Let’s get started!
10 Tips to hit better chip shots
1. Use a different club
Ig you’re struggling with your chip shots, it could be down to the club you’re using.
For example, a 5 iron has a low loft angle so the ball won’t fly as high as it would if you used a wedge, and instead of travelling with a steep trajectory, it aims to fall short and roll toward the hole.
This is called a chip and run, you aim to chip the ball a short distance into the air and then let the ball run along to the green towards the pin.
Different clubs are obviously useful for different shots, but you can make different kinds of shots with each club depending on your technique.
E.g. a chip and run with a wedge will probably not run as far as with a lower lofted club and may have a steeper trajectory if used correctly.
2. Take your time
It might seem patronizing, slow down and take a moment to plan your shot before you make it.
Getting frustrated and playing too quickly isn’t going to solve anything, and it certainly isn’t going to lead to a decent chip.
Our advice is to always take a practice shot.
It may seem like a waste to some, but where we’re concerned, every shot without a practice swing is a wasted shot.
Not only does the practice swing tell you a lot about the kind of swing you now have to make, i.e. power, lie. and turf, but it can give you a moment to size up your shot and think about strategy.
Don’t run straight into it! Take a moment to swing the tension out!
3. Shaft lean
When you have placed your hands on the golf club put your hands a tad in front of the ball, this will help get underneath the ball in order to chip it into the air.
You don’t want to over lean though, try and line up the wrist on your dominant hand with the ball.
This will also help you if you’re trying to create a steeper golf swing
5. Get a different perspective
A lot of people, mainly people who are serious about golf don’t know what they need to improve as it’s an incredibly hard skill to acquire.
One solution is YouTube videos mainly PGA TOUR these are very helpful as it shows what the professionals do and can help you to visualize your problems.
It is cheap and can be less time-consuming, but I recommend it more for newer golfers as it’s more of a general tip.
Getting a coach is a lot of people’s solution and it is very effective as they can instantly tell what is wrong with your golf game and how to improve it.
But this is a very costly endeavor as many instructors go for $40+ per hour, but if you are an avid golfer this is well worth it for the impact it makes on your golf game.
6. Judging the lie
It’s hard to tell what position the ball is in until you get closer to your ball and unfortunately, it’s not always in the best of positions.
If it’s somehow ended up in the thick rough, then adding more speed on your way through perfectly counteracts this.
The thicker the grass the more speed and friction you will encounter so being able to judge how much more force to apply is so important as you don’t want the ball flying past the hole.
Keeping a strong wrist and grip also helps to combat the thick lies as when you swing through it can alter your grip and slice the ball off in the wrong direction.
On the other hand, in short grass, a light graze will be quintessential to nailing your chip shots.
7. Differences in balls
Acquiring better golf balls might seem like it can help but I can assure you it does.
Playing with high-quality golf balls not only adds distance but adds more control. This is perfect for your chip shots.
Choosing a make of ball is mainly down to personal preference and your choices will mature over time if you are struggling I suggest Callaway or Titleist.
Do you ever wonder why if you play two identical shots they seem to go in different directions or fall short? Well, it could be due to the type of ball and the quality of the ball.
It drastically reduces the element of randomness when the ball is chipped or rolled, cheaper balls or different makes cause the ball to roll and move differently, and keeping to a similar make and type of ball helps a lot.
8. Club placement
In bunkers especially you want to hit directly behind the ball and not make any contact with the ball only really sand.
This might take some time to get used to and a lot of raking of the bunker later but once you get it down it’s essential as I for one end up in the bunker a lot.
Depending on what time of the year you play, the ground varies and it can be hard or soft so knowing where to place the club is crucial.
On the hard ground, you typically tend to thin the ball and hit it too hard striking it way past the intended target area.
On the softer ground, you want to hit behind the ball a bit more but not too much because it will lead to scuffing the shot or taking a chunk out of the ground.
9. Analyse your surroundings
Similar to judging your lie but this time you are looking out for hazards like bunkers or trees anything that can affect your shot.
If you ever have to carry a bunker, then you should look for the distance between the green and the bunker.
If the bunker is close to the green a lob shot would be perfect, a lob shot is a shot where you open your club face to make sure the ball goes almost vertically up and land straight back down with virtually no roll.
Whereas if the bunker or hazard is far away from the green then a steeper gradient club is needed for it to roll toward the pin.
This is of personal judgment only but if there are trees in the way instead of hail marrying it over maybe a punch through the trees is more beneficial.
10. Practice makes perfect
Practice does indeed make perfect, if possible depending on which golf club you go to they should have a secluded chipping area.
Utilize this as much as you can it is ideal; it doesn’t matter how much you practice or for how long you do this just try it, it can only help.
Some exercises that you can do to get the most out of the practice area include:
Trying out the chip and run with different clubs it is a lot more beneficial than you think as you get a feel of the distances and all the different clubs.
Also, you can take a step back and try to analyze your surroundings and visualize a bunker in front of you and get a lofted club and try to hit a lob shot.