Improve Your Chipping Skills to Score Lower in Golf
Chipping is one of the single fastest ways to lower your golf scores which is why we will be covering 6 important chipping tips to help you improve your short game.
When you miss the green and hit a poor chip shot, you’re more than likely going to bogey the hole. But when you miss the green and hit a chip shot to within a few feet of the hole, your chances of making par skyrocket.
So how many greens do you miss on average each round? This could tell you how many strokes you could potentially improve if you were to improve your chipping skills.
Related: Try these golf skill worksheets to track your key statistics
For example, let’s say you miss 12 greens each round. This is 12 potential strokes better you could score if you have been bogeying all of these holes do to poor chipping. By improving your chipping, it’s definitely do-able to get up and down 8 out of 12 times, if not more.
You could spend all day hitting balls on the practice tee, but you’ll never save 8 shots as quickly as you will by becoming a better chipper.
I found that chipping and putting were the most important factors for helping me get to scratch golf and win tournaments in high school.
Even right now, I’m seeing chipping as the bottleneck in my golf game holding me back.
Up and downs I used to convert are not there anymore as my chipping skills have worsened. But on the positive side I know that chipping is the key to helping you break 80 and even shoot scratch golf so this is where most of my focus has gone in practice.
Plus, you can improve your chipping much faster than you can improve the golf swing which is why it’s exciting to work on. Think of how long it takes for swing fixes to take effect. Chipping is a less complex movement and easier to improve.
Let’s dive into today’s 6 chipping tips to help you score lower around the greens.
Golf Chipping Tips to Save More Pars
Tip #1: Lead with the Hands
The number one chipping tip in golf is to ensure that your hands lead the club face.
One thing you can do to try and ensure that your hands lead your swing when chipping is to position the ball pretty far back in your stance.
It’s basically impossible to swing the club with the ball positioned this far back in your stance without having your hands lead the way.
This will also promote a “descending blow” when you make contact with the golf ball. It is the angle of the clubface in combination with a downward stroke when you make contact that lofts the ball.
Try out different ball positions in the back of your stance to feel for which one is most comfortable for you.
Tip #2: Use Wrist Hinge in Your Chip Shot
Hinging your wrists is critical to a good chip shot because it allows the club to get up above the grass and hit down with a descending strike.
For right-handed golfers, you should feel like you are using the right wrist to hinge the club up on the backswing, then release it down into the ball. Left handed golfers would feel their left wrist hinging the club.
Tip #3: Distribute Your Body Weight Forward
Another thing you can do is start off with more of your weight distributed to the front side of your body.
For normal tee and iron shots, your weight shifts back, and then forward as you take your downswing and follow through. However when chipping, your swing is less exaggerated, and has less movement in your lower body.
Some golfers get stuck with their weight on their back side and never shift forward.
To correct this, you can simply start off with more weight on your front side to help promote proper weight distribution and follow through as you make contact with the ball during your chip shot.
Tip #4: Become Great with One Club
If we had all the time in the world to practice our golf game, we could practice like the professionals and take time to master every short game club in the bag.
But in reality, we often only have a few hours per week to work on the golf game.
So my advice for you today is choose one club in your bag you want to use for your chipping and become really good with it. I’d recommend using a wedge, like a 54 degree or 58 degree wedge, that you can hit a wide range of golf shots with around the greens.
Work on hitting lower, bump and run shots as well as higher, soft, flop shots with this wedge!
Tip #5: Choose Where You Want to Putt from Before Chipping
Unless you hole out your chip shot, you are going to need to make a putt to finish off your up-and-down save.
Before you chip, walk around the hole and survey the best location to putt from. Where is it flat? Where is it uphill and downhill? What side of the hole has what type of break?
If it’s pretty flat all around the hole, it won’t matter so much where you leave the chip. If the hole is on a slope, you want to find the low side so that you are putting up hill.
Picking out the best place to leave your chip shot will make putting much easier on yourself.
Bonus Tip: Sometimes, it’s even smart to give the chip enough power to go past the hole a few feet so that (1) you can give yourself a chance to make it, and (2) see the break you’ll face coming back with the putt. A lot of amateurs leave chips way too short (6 feet to 12 feet) so this tip could help.
Tip #6: Get On the Green First and Foremost
Our final chipping tip is a key reminder that your first and foremost goal is to get the chip shot onto the green.
This is especially important for beginning golfers because they tend to skull, blade, chunk, overpower, their chip shots which results in them attempting two or even three chip shots before they are finally on the green.
Analyze your chip shot and determine how difficult it is as well as how confident you are that you can get it within a few feet of the hole.
Some chip shots are pretty challenging, like when they are sitting in the deep rough or on a downhill lie and the hole is cut on the edge of the green leaving little room to stop the ball quickly.
In these cases, don’t try to hit a perfect chip shot to within a few feet. Just focus on getting the ball onto the green and giving yourself a chance still by sinking a longer putt. This will help you avoid bad shots that resulted from poor decision making and course strategy.
Final Words on Chipping Tips to Improve Your Strike
Again, the most important rule when chipping and pitching in golf is to ensure your hands lead the clubface through impact with the ball. Do not bend or break your wrists.
You will get much better, and more importantly much more consistent, if you take a natural swing, keep your hands and wrists locked, and let the angle of the clubface and your swing loft the ball.
Focus your attention on making solid contact with the golf ball and getting that ball on th green first and foremost to give yourself the chance to putt. Become really good with one golf, hitting a variety of golf shots so that you are prepared for different situations you’ll face out on the course.
Overall, if you improve your chipping skills using these 6 chipping tips, then you will see a reduction in your golf scores around the greens. Start saving strokes today by joining this step by step practice plan that heavily focuses on short game improvement.
Related Articles with more chipping tips & drills:
- 2 Short Game Drills Every Golfer Should Practice
- How to Cure the Chipping Yips
- Best Practice Drill to Improve Chipping Distance Control
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