Remembering The Right Things To Do When Chipping

After chipping 500 golf balls over the last five days, I am finally starting to remember what makes my chipping successful. After clanging, sculling, mishitting, and chili dipping, I am finally starting to feel like I am on the right track. I figure I still have another couple of thousand chips to go, but I am getting there!

The one benefit I realize for the delay of golf courses opening is I have the time and focus to practice. On the opening day, my short game will be further ahead than in any year past. I am currently focusing on distances from 25 to 40 yards and each session his helping me refine my carry distance. This will pay great dividends early in the season.

The two major points I have refined are the hand position on the club and my weight distribution. My hand position, after much tinkering, is exactly the same as mentioned in my article: How Inches Can Change Your Golf Game!

The 1 inch hand position is the right one.

My weight distribution was more challenging. I played with ball position and realized that this was not the avenue (for now) to successful chipping. I needed to go back to basics and that started with my weight distribution. At first, I was placing about 80% of my weight on the lead leg, but that just caused me to drive my wedge into the chipping mat.

So, I gradually moved shifted my weight backwards to a 55% lead leg and 45% trail leg. It is in this position I feel the most balance so I can rotate my hips properly and consistently hit just behind the ball. The results of my adjustments has provided a foundation for moving forward. Now that I have settled on my weight distribution, I can work on other things like ball position and flight.

The more I practice, the more I remember the right things about chipping. Everyone has to find what works best for their game. Sometimes it takes a long time and in other instances it is about knocking off the rust and remembering what works.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


7 thoughts on “Remembering The Right Things To Do When Chipping

  1. Jim, I have tried measuring distances and equating different clubs with a standard swing speeds but I just can’t pull it off. When you factor in uphill, downhill, lie, and weather, it’s just easier to see a spot and hit the spot. Just feel it. I.e. it’s much more art than science for me.

    It’s good you’re getting so much practice but you’ll need to start hitting off grass as soon as possible. Don’t get too friendly that the good lie on your mat provides.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m thinking about marking out ten yards, then every 5 out to about 50. And working on chipping to those targets. I’ll go through the targets with all 4 wedges and maybe the 8 and 9 irons. I’ve always been a feel player. If I get an exact yardage from someone that’s great, but I swing at what I’m looking at and mostly use prior experience and course yardage markers to make my judgments. And hitting my distance seems to be one of my strengths. But I think this kind of chipping practice should help sharpen both my chipping and my “feel”.
    And there’s another bit of training I’d like to do with those same targets. Instead of aiming for the targets, this time, I’d like to go through those same clubs and just hit two or three chips with each using a standard swing speed/length each time. I’d like to write down the average distances for each of those swings by club. Get real numbers for when the face is closed, or open. Feel is one thing, but, I think it might help to have as a reference. We don’t have a range, so I only have the 50 yard chipping area to do this with for now, but what better place to start than the scoring clubs.


    • Kevin,

      I have used your bottom advice in years past. It might be time to revive it. My game has changed so much over the years, I am sure my yardages have changed as well. The first is a good idea, but you will need a visual marker at each distance (like a flag or bucket) because it is difficult to see you margin of error past 25 yards. Let me know if you do either of those drills. Thanks for the ideas.

      Cheers Jim


      • I’ve got two options to mark the yardages out. One is the foot powder and another is a package of red plastic cups. I can pin them to the ground with a tee, or drop a ball in each to keep them from blowing in the breeze. Either choice should work just fine.

        Liked by 1 person

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