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In golf, a chip is when you make a low shot played along the ground where the ball spends little time in the air. You typically make a chip shot when the hole is close by, similar to a putt. Chip shots are important in golf, so practicing them is essential. So, what goes into the perfect chip shot? Let the Indian River Golf Foundation teach you the fundamentals of chip shots.
To start, you want your feet close together and perpendicular to your target line. Your weight should be shifted onto your front foot, and your hands should be in front of the ball. This posture will ensure that the clubface is square at impact and help you hit down on the ball. Bend from the hips in a semi-bowing motion and let your arms hang. Once the correct posture is nailed down, you can adjust it to make different shots.
Proper Stance and Setup
Now that you know how to get into position, it’s time to fine-tune your stance and setup. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and the ball should be positioned just inside your left heel for a right-handed golfer. For a lefty, the ball will be just inside the right heel. This stance will help you make solid contact with the ball and keep it on the proper trajectory.
Your weight should be shifted onto your front foot, and your hands should be in front of the ball. This stance will ensure that the clubface is square at impact and help you hit down on the ball. Bend from the hips in a semi-bowing motion and allow your arms to hang naturally. The club should be pointing towards the sky, and your hands should be even with your left thigh (righties) or right thigh (lefties).
Knowing the Interaction Between Ball and Turf
The next golf chipping tip is to ensure you know the ball’s and turf’s interaction. This knowledge will help you make better contact with the ball and get it airborne more easily. The club should enter the ground before the ball, and you should feel like you’re hitting down on the ball. This technique will help ensure that the ball pops up into the air rather than digging into the ground. The golden rule is to hit down if you want the ball to go up. This is why you keep your upper body tilted in the direction of the target since it helps make the descending blow so essential to chipping.
Understanding the Chipping Stroke
Understanding how the stroke works is the key to nailing your golf chipping technique. In most cases, the club should stay below your hips. You need to focus on keeping your arms and hands close to your body throughout the entire motion. Your arms should move back and forth in one piece, keeping your wrists relatively passive. This technique will ensure that you make solid contact with the ball and that the clubface remains square to your target line. Imagine your arms and shoulders forming a triangle; your job is not to break that triangle during your stroke.
Get a Feel For It
Like many things in golf, there is no one-size-fits-all technique for making your chip shot. Some golfers do well with heavy motion in their wrists, while others do better with highly fixed wrists. You will need to experiment to determine what technique works best for you. One thing you always want to avoid is tension. Being too tense will interfere with your ability to feel the club and hit the ball naturally. Keep your wrists soft and relaxed enough to move so the club’s strike will be relatively gentle.
Adjust Ball Position
Your ball position affects the height of your shots. For example, a centered position removes some forward shaft lean and can get the ball higher. A ball position further back will conversely hit the ball lower with a spin to it.
Adjust Distance Control
You also need to take into account how hard you hit the ball. For most people, it’s best to use less club and make a smoother stroke rather than trying to hit the ball too hard. By making a smooth stroke, you can better control your distance.
Practice with an Alignment Rod
Practice with an alignment rod if you want to get really good at chipping. This will help you make sure that your clubface is square at impact.
Choose a target 1/3rd away
Choose a target about one-third of the way to the hole when on the range. This will help you better control your distance by judging how long the ball rolls after your chip shot.
Practice Chipping During Warmup
Before your next round, make sure to warm up by hitting some chip shots. This practice will help you get a feel for the greens and how your shots will react. Plus, it’s always good to get some extra practice in!
Practice Your Chip Shots At the Indian River Golf Foundation
At the Indian River Golf Foundation, we believe golf is for everyone. Whether you’re an experienced golfer or just starting, whether you’re young or old, you can learn to play golf well. We have friendly, knowledgeable mentors who would be happy to help you improve your game. Don’t put up with the frustration of imperfect chip shots. Give us a call or come on down to the Indian River Golf Foundation today!