I get asked how to play this shot all the time.
This shot is perfect for when your ball is lying up against the fringe of the green and the grass directly behind the ball will impede the movement of the putter. You are going to use the leading edge of the sand wedge to hit the equator of the ball.
• The stance should be narrower than normal
• You can use your putting grip or normal grip, but ensure that you grip down on your grip to assist in getting the leading edge to contact the center of the ball
• Ball position should be in the middle of the stance
• You need to make a smooth, pendulum putting stroke
• The wrists must remain firm throughout
• The body must remain as still as possible throughout
• Concentrate on making a clean strike on the ball
CONTROL YOUR SPEED
Having given thousands of lessons in my life, a common chipping mistake I often see from my clients is adding to much unnecessary speed to the movement.
Trying to help the ball in the air, a far to short a backswing and looking at the hole for distance and not the landing spot are major contributors to forcing the shot and having too much speed.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t want you to decelerate.
Fix: make a few chipping movements with different length swings, without any thought as to how far they should or shouldn’t go.
Let these lengths be your benchmark. Make note of landing distance VS finishing distance.
Look out for my next chipping article that discusses the keys to creating spin when it comes to chipping.
INDOOR CHIPPING DRILL
This drill is designed to help you learn feel and control over how far your ball carries and where it lands.
All you need is your sand wedge, bucket and some soft balls. If have enough space, try a real ball.
Start 5 feet away and practice flying balls into the bucket. Once you get ten in move back 5 feet and so on.
Spending time learning how far you fly the ball with different lengths of backswing will make you skilled at hitting your landing spot with accuracy which is one of the most important keys to chipping.
TOWEL LADDER DRILL
Another indoor drill focuses on your ability to control distance. For this drill you will need three golf towels.
Place the first two meters away from the ball, the second four meters and the third six meters away.
The goal is to land the golf ball on all three towels with three consecutive shots.
Once completed do the same but start with trying to hit the towel that is furthest away.
You get used to hitting your chip shots varying distances. This is one of the best chipping drills to practice if you want to see immediate results.
Watch this space!
Here are some tips to help you cope when chipping from awkward lies.
Ball sitting down in the grass:
Play it further back in your stance.
The ball sitting up in the grass:
Grip down on your club and sweep.
Move the ball back in your stance for crisper contact.
Move the ball forward for early loft.
Ball above feet:
Grip down on the club & stand taller.
Ball below feet:
Bend lower to get over the ball.
Let your practice swing be your guideline to where the club bottoms out when chipping from bad lies.
PICKING YOUR LANDING SPOT
Great chipping is about finding the correct landing spot.
To work this drill you need three different coloured balls and a wedge of choice.
Pick a hole and place a ball 25% to the target, then place a ball 50% to the target and lastly place a ball 75% to the target.
Now you can work around different balls flights and landing spots. The lower the ball comes out the more it will roll and visa versa.
KEYS TO CREATING SPIN
The primary factors in creating spin on the ball are:
• Loft of club
More loft = more spin
More speed, more
revolutions = more spin
• Angle of attack
Different angles of
attack = create different
• Quality of turf
Less grass between
club face and ball =
• Grooves of club
Good quality wedges =
• Ball of choice
Not all balls are the
same = know your cores
Most beginner golfers move their balance around when they hit a chip shot. In general, they tend to fall back onto their trail foot. Mostly due to wanting to assist the ball into the air.
The results of falling back on your back foot when chipping can be costly, the miss can be two-fold firstly a bladed chip shot that flies across the green or getting under it and having too much loft.
The flamingo drill is a drill that will teach you how to keep your weight on your front foot throughout the movement.
For this drill, stand on your lead foot and proceed to chip like you normally would. If you fall back, you will fall over.
Chipping is a part of the game that most amateur golfers don't practice enough.
3 quick tips:
Don't try help the ball in the air.
SSF - stands for start, stay and finish. This is respect to your weight. Say it with me SSF.
Thirdly find a good local PGA professional, or send us a video clip of your action.