If you ask experienced golfers which shot they feel that every player needs, I bet the overwhelming response would be the same. Anyone who has played golf for any length of time has lived through the requirement of this shot and paid the piper for not having it in their bag. Personally, my game suffered until I decided to focus on learning and refining it over may years of effort. Other than a great putting stroke, as a beginner I believe that all beginners should learn how to chip the ball from 25 yards or closer to the pin. This shot is a stroke saver and should be in everyone’s golf bag.
I understand that there are a plethora of potential golf shots at players need to learn and if you talk to many teaching professionals, they might have a different view. However, learning to chip is the second greatest stroke saver for any beginner. Think back to your early games (or current ones) how many strokes have you wasted chipping and re-chipping? We know from experience that it the count really grows the closer we get to the pin.
Understanding that chipping is the a stroke that every players needs to refine, I wonder why it took so long for me to learn this lesson. However, now that I have, I spend a great deal of time (even now) refining my short game. I have expanded my distance out to 50 yards, but the intent is still the same. Honing my chipping is a priority every year and virtually every practice session. So, if you are a beginner, do yourself a favour and start incorporating chipping practice every time out.
As I look back to my game in 2021, I found that my focus on greens in regulation were paramount. I still believe that this stat is the most important. My next critical stat (skill) would be my up and down percentage. This stat is where my chipping skill kicked in and for the most part I did very well. I believe that my efforts to hone my chipping skills has saved my countless strokes over the years. I know I will continue to practice my short game and recommend that you do as well.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!