13 Golf Chipping Tips to Practice
Today I’m going to share the 13 important chipping tips every golfer should memorize and go through prior to hitting a golf wedge shot. Build these tips into your chipping pre-shot routine and you’ll see great improvement in how close you’re chipping the ball to the hole.
After learning each of the tips, you should get out to the course and put in the practice. Don’t read, then forget. Go apply it!
In fact, here’s some practices you can follow to quickly improve your short game:
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1. Analyze Your Lie
The very first step to hitting a good chip shot is analyzing your lie. This allows you to decide on what type of chip shot you’ll hit onto the green.
If the ball is sitting down deep in the rough then you’re going to anticipate needing a high lofted wedge like your 60 degree to pop it out with lots of backspin to help it stop on the green.
Overall, your lie will give you good insight on the type of shot to use and that’s where you’ll need to also analyze the green.
2. Analyze the Green
The next step to improving your chipping is taking time to analyze the green.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Where is the flag?
- How much green is there between you and the flag to roll the golf ball?
- If the ball goes long is there a bunker or any hazards?
- Do you have any bunkers or hazards you have to chip over to get onto the green?
If there is no trouble nearby and lots of green between the hole and your ball, then you should practice a low trajectory running chip shot.
When there is trouble to go over or not much green, then higher lofted flop shots are likely the shot choice to go with.
Overall, analyze the green and analyze your lie and decide on which chip shot works best for the least amount of risk to help you save par.
RESOURCE: Golf Practice Plan to Break 90, 80, 70
3. Choose Where You Want to Putt From Before Chipping
Even though you’re off the green, you should still consider your chip shot as the first putt of a two putt par. Once you chip the ball on the green, the goal is to leave yourself a short and easy, make-able putt.
Walk around the hole and survey the best area to putt from. Where is the green the flattest? Where is the uphill slope and downhill slope? What type of break is on each side of the hole?
And also take into account your strengths. Are you better putting with left to right break or right to left break? This is something we test in our How to Break 70 Golf Practice Plan.
Once you know where you’d like to putt from, strategize the chip shot that can get the ball as close to that spot as possible.
It may be a case where you try to hole out the putt and if the ball goes past the hole a few feet, you’ll know the break coming back to make the putt.
Too many amateur golfers leave chip shots way short (5 feet to 15 feet) and struggle on the scorecard as a result of lots of short range two putts that could have been one putts.
4. Move Your Weight Forward in the Set Up
In a normal golf swing, your body weight shifts back on the back swing and then as your fire your hips your weight shifts forward to help you power your swing.
A lot of golfers can get their weight stuck behind the shot, causing a shank or hook/slice.
With chipping you don’t need much power and it’s all generated with your arms swinging the club. Therefore, you can start with your weight forward to help reduce mishits.
5. Lead with the Hands
During a chipping stroke, you want your hands to lead the club face. The only way this occurs is by creating some forward shaft lean so that the top of the club (grip) is ahead of the bottom of the club (club face).
Forward shaft lean helps promote a descending blow on the golf ball to help avoid chunks and releasing the club too early, known as casting.
You’ll find your chip shot ball striking to be much smoother and controllable.
Additionally, positioning the golf ball back in your stance can promote the forward shaft lean. But you should play around with ball position to find what’s comfortable for you.
On flop shots, we like to play the ball forward near our lead foot, while most chips are centered in the stance or slightly behind center.
See what works best for you.
RESOURCE: Golf Practice Plan to Break 90, 80, 70
6. Hinge the Wrists
Creating wrist hinge during a chip shot is super important because it helps the club get up into the air above the grass that the ball is sitting down in.
Without hinge, if you try to take the club away from the ball it will drag against the grass and be difficult to control the club from the grass pushing back with force.
Additionally, wrist hinge helps your club on the down swing by coming into the golf ball on a descending angle to make crisp contact with the ball and avoid as much grass on the way down as possible.
For right handed golfers, your back hand (right hand) will be the wrist hinging when chipping. For left hand golfers, your left hand will hinge on the backswing.
7. Take Practice Strokes
When setting up to your chip shot, get prepared by taking some practice strokes close to your ball.
This gives you a chance to feel what the shot will be like, how thick the rough is, or how to make crisp contact with dirt if your ball is sitting on a dirt patch.
The feedback you get from your chipping practice strokes will be important to technique when you set up to the real shot.
RESOURCE: Golf Practice Plan to Break 90, 80, 70
8. Be Great with One Wedge
Every beginner and golfer who struggles with chipping should spend all their practice time with one wedge! Get really good with it!
The way wedges are designed today, sole grinds allow you to flatten out your wedge if you need to for high lofted shots.
So while you could master a 60 or 64 degree wedge, I prefer to practice with a lower lofted wedge like a 52, 54, or 56.
This allows you to practice mainly low runner chip shots but also practice higher lofted shots by adjusting the face during set up.
9. Get On the Green First аnd Fоrеmоѕt
In our first chipping tips above, we had you analyze your lie and analyze the green. This is great but sometimes things don’t go as planned.
Maybe you have a really bad lie or maybe you hit an unexpected skull, blade, chunk, etc. Things happen.
So be prepared by focusing your attention on the first rule of chipping which is to get the ball on the green in one attempt!
Too many amateur golfers and beginners hit multiple chips before finally getting their ball on to the green. These are wasted strokes!
At least you give yourself a chance to still save par by getting the first chip shot on the green.
So before you hit your chip shot, assess risk. If things go wrong will the ball still be on the green?
If the answer is no, then consider a safer play and hit a different chip shot that ensures your golf ball lands on the green in one try!
10. Clean Your Grooves
Need lots of spin to check up the ball and get it to stop with control? Make sure you clean your grooves prior to chipping.
Have a handy towel attached to your bag and dampen it a little before your round so you can get the club grooves wet if dirt has dried or hardened between the wedge’s grooves.
There is also a brush tool that can scrub the wedge’s and iron’s club face grooves clean.
11. Chipping Repetition is Key
On the golf course, you’re going to be chipping up to 18 times per round depending on how many greens in regulation you hit with approach shots.
And your chips are going to be from a variety of distances, lies, and require different trajectories and spin rates to successfully position the ball close to the hole for your putt.
To be prepared for these limited number of chips per round, you have to practice a whole lot in your spare time.
Chipping practice will be key to getting a high volume of reps in from different distances, angles to the flag, and lies.
We created this 10 Level Chipping Challenge giving you some of the best chipping drills to practice and you can’t move on until you pass the level requirements!
If you want more high volume, chipping practice routines to follow, see our options here.
12. Play the Right Golf Ball
Another overlooked factor that impacts your short game is your golf ball!
Many golfers focus on a ball that will give them more distance off the tee but forget about the short game aspect and picking out a golf ball with great control for around the greens.
We’ve written countless reviews on golf balls you can scroll our Product Review Archive here.
Our two favorite golf balls for increased spin & control with chipping are:
The cover of the golf ball is what will grab the grooves in your wedge and create backspin. Read golf ball specs before buying to learn what type of cover the ball has and how it impacts spin rates, short game, putting, and chipping.
13. Relax and Hit a Great Chip Shot
Our last chipping tip for you today is take a deep breathe. Relax yourself. Get your mind right. So much of chipping and the short game in general is mental!
We wrote an entire book on the mental game of golf you can read if you’d like.
Clear your head of negative thoughts before chipping. Visualize the shot you want to hit so you give your subconscious and idea of how to guide the club and your hands during the chipping stroke.
Feel the distance you’re flying the ball and visualize the spot it’s going to land on the green.
Then step up and hit the chip shot. Go get it Tiger.
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