I stumbled across this video from MeandMyGolf regarding when to make contact on the ground while chipping. They explain the different thought processes and techniques in the video below, but what struck my attention is their discussion about bounce. Kevin, a daily follower at The Grateful Golfer, asked about bounce just the other day. How fortuitous that I found the instructional video.
What I liked about the video is that their explanation was simple and easy to follow. They use examples I can relate too and visualize. Interestingly, I was always a ‘hit the ball first’ when chipping until about I started using my DIY chipping mat last spring. I hard surface of my chipping mat showed that it was very difficult to hit the ball perfectly, so a new chipping technique started to evolve.
I actually started to transition towards the ground first approach, but was working out the details of how to accomplish this swing change. The video above has helped speed up my learning curve and I should be fully ready by next spring.
On a side note, I decided to change because I found that adjusting the angle of my wedges was hit and miss while chipping. I wanted something that was repeatable with all my wedges and easy accomplish.
I would consider my chipping style to be in between (like Andy) where I use a bit of wrists, but try to engage the big muscles in my shoulders and back. This technique is something I will continue to perfect in the off-season. I do not have to hit the ball far, so indoor practice is definitely a bonus.
What do you think of their views of using the bounce more with a neutral shaft position?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Hitting The Ground First When Chipping”
Jim, I think the video has TMI and would only be advisable for advanced players looking to tinker. I have a lot of different techniques to rely on around the green. The only time I look to hit ground first is from bad lies in deep grass, where I’ll open up the blade and play it like a bunker shot.
As you know, I am a recovering chip yipper and have very much simplified my system and have confidence in my approach. Can’t imagine going grass first from a good lie, but hey, different strokes for different folks. . .
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I agree that this video might be for advanced players. When we say hitting the ground first, there are many variables. Obviously this technique will not work on very wet ground, nor in challenging lies where we cannot get the leading edge on the ball without a gouge. Hitting the ground first, IMO, is about an inch or less behind the ball because this allows the bounce of the club do its job.
Chipping, like putting, is a unique skill that many players need to own and develop to meet their game. What works for me might not work for anyone else and that is okay. I think the discussion is as important as developing the skill. Thanks for weighing in.
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I’m like you. I’ve been looking to hit ball first. And I’m a bit on the handy side. I have pretty good eye hand coordination and lot’s of practice. But I too, think this is worth exploring. The second half of this video touches on the same subject and makes it look like it shouldn’t be that hard to pick up.
I may be pretty good at how I do it now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be better learning a new way. At the least, I’ll have an extra option to choose from when I need to get one close. In fact, the more I see of it, the more I can see myself fitting the shot into my game. Sounds like I’ll be putting the range to work this week. 🏌️♀️
Let me know how your practice sessions go; specifically, I am interested in if your ball position changes.