Proper Setup When Chipping

How far do you stand away from the ball when chipping? I can honestly say that when I set up, I think I am in a natural position, but I never really measured. Normally, I stand in a quasi upright position so that the heel of my club is slightly off the ground. This position works and after measuring I found that it is about two feet away. That is the ball is about two feet away from the heel of my lead foot. If you are wondering how I know this, well….

I found this video that explains things a bit clearer:

As I watched this video, I realized that I do things slightly different, but the distance of the ball from my lead heel is about right. Personally, I play the ball back in my stance just a bit and I open the club face slightly. These two extra movements help with my consistency and accuracy when chipping.

I like simple repeatable method the instructor shows to finding the proper distance from the ball and the lead heel. I never really thought about it before and watching this video gave me an ‘ah ha’ moment. Usually the simplest things are the easiest to replicate. This method of finding the proper distance to the ball is as easy as it gets.

It is important to understand that the above video is meant as an aid to help beginner golfers (and some experienced ones) develop a comfortable stance when chipping. I think it provides and 80% solution and it is up to you to work out the other 20%.

Do you have a different method of finding the proper distance of the all from the your body when chipping? If so, please share.

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


2 thoughts on “Proper Setup When Chipping

  1. 80% may be right. Depends on where you’re playing I guess. Might be 90 down here in flat land. 😂 That said, there are certainly times when following this advice will make a mess of your attempt. When the ball is above or below your feet for instance, this advice is absolutely wrong.

    I made a mental note to bring this up after having to chip from both those situations today. I hit a 3 wood today about as good as I’ve ever hit one. Beautiful draw on it, but I pushed it out a hair too far and because of the draw spin making it want to straighten out a little when it lands, it caught a little patch of rough that sticks out and stopped on the side of a 2 foot tall rise in the rough. I was just 71 yards to the center, 60 to the front and decided to chip with the gap wedge. I stood farther away from the ball for that one. Held the club a little flatter.

    Later on I had to hit the opposite. These are tough chips. Below your feet, you need to get up close. Raise the shaft of the club so you’re toe down.

    In both cases I positioned myself so that I was holding the club as close to level with the slope as possible so I could hit the ball rather than dig in. Trying to hold the club normally with that upslope and the toe would dig in before the rest of the club reached the ball. And the heel would do that if the ball were below.

    For the same reason we should be adjusting the level of our shoulders when hitting off a downhill lie or an uphill lie, we should change our distance to the ball and the angle we hole the shaft when we face a ball above or below our feet to help match the leading edge to the slope or part of the club is going to dig in.

    BTW I flubbed the one with the ball above my feet a little. I’m thinking I must of got the toe digging in a little because it came up short but I followed it up with a chip from level ground at the base of the raised green to inside a foot and got the par. But the one below my feet was probably the best chip I’ve hit all month and I’ve hit some pretty good ones. I had to hit that 20 yards in the air and get it high enough and with enough spin to still check when it landed on the downslope so it stood a chance at stopping somewhere near about 30 feet farther down the slope. And I had to guess how that slope would take the ball. I got it to stop a foot high and 4 feet short of the hole. Almost a miracle shot. It saved my birdie. It’s important to know how our clubs will interact with the ground and make adjustments or allowances for it. On that shot with the ball above my feet, I should have played that one past the hole rather than trying to land it short. I made a mental error. The pin was short sided and I got greedy. Whether the rough got me or whether I did dig to toe in a little it didn’t effect direction just distance so I could have been putting if I’d have just aimed past the flag instead of short of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Your points are well taken. Your description allows me to see your shot and your adjustments should be natural to everyone except the real novice player. The advice I offered was the 80% solution when the lie is flat with no challenges like long rough. I must remember when writing that I am not an elite player, but a good amateur who has their own way of playing. I am just trying to offer some tips to players who are on a golf journey. But I know you know this.

      Cheers Jim


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