Golf is made up of many different golf shots. Next to putting, I find that chipping garners the most strokes during my round. I have never actually counted (might do that for fun), but I know from my other stats that chipping is an important aspect of scoring well. Understanding this for some time, I dedicated a great deal of time at the beginning of the season to significantly improve my close to the green game.
While working through my process of improving my chipping, I have adopted three differences from last year that I am comfortable sharing because they are proving to successful.
First, I have stopped relying on one club and use all of my wedges and my 7-iron. I find that instead of adjusting the loft on my Gap Wedge (52° degree) for the various shots, I now change clubs and swing basically the same. I still use the same ball position as previously stated, but the different clubs help me control my overall flight distance and release.
Second, I am choking down a bit farther on my grip. This allows for improved control my swing. I am making better contact and have a better feel for how the ball is going to react. Basically, I am placing my hands about 1 or 2 inches above the bottom of the grip; thus I am bent over a bit more on my chips. This position seems to enhance my ability to be more aggressive when chipping because I have more confidence and control.
Lastly, I open my front foot a bit more than normal. This facilitates my club head following my chosen path. The flaring front foot opens my hips and lets my arms swing freely. I have to keep reminding myself to flare my foot because this is the one real significant change to my set up. I have to fight muscle memory of sorts.
The above three changes to my short game have allowed me chip with authority. If I follow these three things, my ball gets the hole more often than not. Even if it is a bit long, I am confident that I will be able to make the come back putt. I feel my chipping has improved and I look forward to continuing my refinement of my chipping.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
6 thoughts on “How to Chip With Authority”
When I played on Bent grass greens, I used a 56 degree wedge for everything. I could use the leading edge and hit it low and have it check. I could open it up and throw it high. If necessary to go super flop I’d use the 60 degree wedge. Having moved to Florida with sandy and less compact ground combined with Bermuda grass, I’ve had to go to a simpler approach. I use the bounce more than I ever did. I also use the 60 degree wedge a lot more. It’s a challenge.
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A challenge for sure. At least you recognize the difference in playing conditions and adjust. Many do ot. All part of improving our game.
Jim, great to hear your success short game story. My newest trouble zone is 40 yards. Too short for a half lob wedge and too long for a green side pitch. Boy, have I butchered a few holes lately from this distance. Gotta either solve for it or play away from the distance.
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Playing away from the distance is a good place to start until you are ready to attack the challenge. Let me know about how you cracked this nut.
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For me it’s not so much chipping that gives me issues but pitching. I do more of that because most of the greens are raised and lots of them are guarded. So we have to get a bit more air under the ball and that’s where I tend to come up short too often for my pleasure. I did it again on the 1st hole the other day after a perfect tee shot. I pitched it up, but landed it two feet short of where I needed it to go and that meant a 20+ footer was left for my birdie. I was inside 30 yards and leaving that far just doesn’t sit well with me. Especially knowing 5 feet long would have fared better for me. Being a little too tentative is certainly something we have to guard against.
I know what you mean. I have adopted the habit of trying to land my ball within 3 feet of the pin on an elevated green. As I always come up short, this effort actually has me within 6 feet or closer most of the time. Changing my mental approach to fly the ball farther has made these shots easier to execute. Good luck fixing your woes.