Better chipping technique can improve your short game - and scores
Here at GolfTEC, it's vitally important that we emphasize short-game technique as much as we do full-swing technique. One key area that we often find in need of significant improvement is in chipping. Chipping can be such a simple movement with terrific results, but all too often it gets complicated with inconsistent results.
First let's define the chip shot. The chip shot is an effective short shot used when there is little to no hazard in front of you to carry. Generally this is a green-side shot that can be executed with a variety of different clubs.
The setup position in chipping is very important. There are three keys to a good chipping setup position. The first key is to always keep your weight left, about 75 percent left. Bump your hips to the left to do this. Next, put your hands slightly ahead of the golf ball at address. Your hands must always lead the clubhead in the chip shot. The clubhead never passes the hands! Finally, your ball position should be back of center. To simplify, I say, "Weight forward, hands forward, ball position back of center…."
The stroke should be very simple as well. For the novice player, it's important to keep the wrists very quiet in the stroke. Therefore, try not to break your wrists at all in the stroke. Your hands start ahead of the ball at address, and if you don't use your wrists, the hands will be ahead of the ball at impact as well. That's crucial to solid ball striking when chipping.
For the more advanced player, a slight amount of wrist action is encouraged for feel and backspin control. Allow the wrists to feel more "soft" and allow for a slight hinge. This will allow more freedom in the hands and forearms and a greater sense of feel and control. This will also generate more backspin to add more control to your ball on the greens.
May 8, 2008