Chipping often gets overlooked, yet its significance surpasses raw power or physical prowess. It’s a skill that anyone with even a modicum of intelligence can master to match the proficiency of professionals. You don’t require Brooks Koepka’s biceps or a basketball player’s stature to excel at chipping.

So, why do many of us neglect it? Often, it boils down to ego – the allure of smashing a colossal drive overshadows the importance of refining skills closer to the green. However, improving your chipping can be the key to breaking through scoring barriers. While some may find it mundane, consider the excitement of achieving your first 79, 89, or 99. Shaving off strokes around the greens is where real progress is made, not solely in driving distance or power.

Chipping and Putting: Your Key to Lower Scores

Ready to slash your strokes? Stick with me; you’ll see 5-10 strokes vanish in three rounds.

Short game struggles? Forget them. With the tips below and some practice, you’ll revamp your game and impress on the green.

Chipping and Putting: Your Key to Lower Scores

10 Tips to Elevate Your Chipping Game

1. Perfect Your Posture

Start with the right stance. Bend forward from the hips, letting your arms hang naturally below your shoulders. This creates the right path for your swing. Avoid a squatty posture; it leads to inconsistent contact.

Perfect Your Posture

2. Fine-Tune Your Setup

Chipping and putting share short stroke motions. To get the best result with your chipping clubs:

  • Grip lower on the handle.
  • Narrow your stance so your feet are about one clubhead apart.
  • Move the ball slightly back in your stance.
  • Lean your shaft and upper body towards the target.

3. Master Ball-Turf Interaction

Remember: hit down to make the ball go up. This is crucial for a good strike. Keeping your upper body tilted towards the target ensures a descending blow.

Master Ball-Turf Interaction

4. Refine Your Stroke

Your chipping stroke should keep your arms and shoulders forming a steady triangle-like putting. Keep the club below hip level for most strokes to maintain good contact.

5. Develop Your Feel

Whether you use a wristy or free-flowing motion, avoid tension. A relaxed grip allows the club to fall into the ball, enhancing your feel naturally.

Develop Your Feel

6. Adjust Ball Position

For short chips, keep your stance narrow with the ball slightly back. Centering the ball can launch it higher while positioning it back lowers the shot with more spin.

7. Control Your Distance

Learn one comfortable stroke size and change clubs to alter distances. For example, a knee-height stroke with a gap wedge might travel 10 yards, but with a 7-iron, it could go 50 yards.

Control Your Distance

8. Use an Alignment Rod

Practice with an alignment rod outside your ball to check your setup. If the rod gets in the way, your stroke might be off, increasing shank risk.

9. Target One-Third Away

Understand your flight-to-roll ratios. Place a marker one-third of the distance to the hole. Land the ball there and observe its roll to fine-tune your club choice.

Target One-Third Away

10. Include Chipping in Your Warm-Up

Hit a few chips during your warm-up. This builds confidence and improves contact, making you a better chipper, lowering your scores, and making the game fun.

Common Chipping Pitfalls

What’s the secret to a perfect chip shot? It’s all about maintaining stable arms and hands while executing a controlled stroke with your chest and shoulders. Here are some frequent blunders to avoid when chipping a golf ball.

  • Avoid High-Lofted Clubs: Using a 58 or 60-degree wedge for chipping is risky for mid to high handicappers. Unlike the forgiving PW, 52°, or even 56°, these clubs demand precise spin control. Opt for a club with a more oversized sole to minimize mishits and ensure smoother chipping.
  • Avoid Trying to Lift the Ball: Keep your shoulders level and your spine straight up and down. Avoid tilting or leaning back, as this pushes your hips and hands forward, causing the club to bottom out too soon. Trust the loft of your clubs to do the lifting for you.
  • Correct Ball Positioning: Placing the ball too far forward hampers your ability to make solid chip shots with controlled, descending strokes. Ensure the ball sits no farther forward than the middle of your stance, maintaining a straight line between your club shaft and left arm. Incorrect positioning increases the likelihood of thin shots, potentially overshooting the pin or resulting in dreaded skull shots.
  • Focus on Swinging, Not Hitting: Instead of trying to strike the ball, focus on swinging the club back using your chest and shoulders. Avoid becoming overly handsy and flipping at the ball. A proper chip shot minimizes wrist action, maintaining a slight hinge if necessary. Keep your left wrist firm and prevent it from breaking down.
  • Remember to Rotate: Many golfers must rotate their lower body when executing chip shots, relying solely on arm movement. Ensure you incorporate a mini golf swing with somebody’s turn to avoid poor contact and maintain distance control.
  • Flop Shot Fallacy: Rarely resort to flop shots, which may signal course management issues. Instead, focus on bump-and-run shots for better results. 


Now, it’s time to hit the green and master those skills! Don’t just read through this—get out there and practice. You can nail it with as little as 10 hours of focused training.

Once you’ve honed these techniques, it’s all about fine-tuning your landing spot to match the greens you encounter. Everyone has the potential to chip like a pro, and that includes you. So, unleash your inner champion and dominate the course!

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