Method | Chipping

This article appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of LINKS.

Mike Adams and T.J. Tomasi 1998

The stroke for playing the basic chip shot is short, and you shouldn’t be all that concerned with generating power. A chip shot is about control, so gain maximum control over the club by choking down as much as is practical on the club—to the point where it is almost putter length. Break 100 Now!

Jay Morelli 2007

Most players have overactive hands and release (or throw) the clubhead too early, causing missed hits and generally poor contact. In the correct action, you make a slight alteration in the grip so that both palms are pointing skyward. This locks your hands into a neutral position and makes any wrist action or hinging almost impossible. From this address position, you swing the arms and shoulders with no wrist hinge, the same feeling as rocking a baby. Short Game Secrets of the Pros

Greg Norman 1992

Acceleration through impact is as vital to the short game as it is with your longer irons and woods. It is the only way to put proper backspin on these shots, for maximum control. So be crisp and aggressive on even your shortest shot, leading the clubhead with your hands as you make a descending hit on the ball. One way to check yourself is to imagine the short-shot swing as a race between your hands and the clubhead, with your left knee as the finish line. If your hands don’t win that race every time, you need to develop a faster, harder-hitting technique. 100 Instant Golf Lessons

Gary Player 1962

My advice to anyone not completely familiar with the wedge is to forget about this club for chipping from just off the green, unless a high shot is required. Close in to the green I chip with a 5-, 6- or 7-iron, I use the 5-iron when there is a lot of green between me and the pin and I want the ball to run. Otherwise I use a 7-iron. I must also offer this advice: Study the green as closely for a chip as you would for a putt, because the grain and slope affect both shots similarly. Play Golf with Player

Harry Obitz and Dick Farley 1977

We want to stress the importance of narrowing your stance as you near the green because so many average golfers make the same mistake of adopting too wide a stance. This has two undesirable effects: It allows too broad a range of ball positions and it permits, or makes probable, too much use of the upper body. In a narrow stance, the bottom of the swing arc is confined to a narrow area between the feet, meaning you can swing with precision. The narrower stance helps you stay over the ball, makes you play the shot more with the arm swing, and gives you greater sensitivity in the hands for feel. Six Days to Better Golf

Abe Mitchell 1927

The player must note that in the backswing, even for these short shots, his right hip must lock and the left shoulder must be held. The upper part of his body must be rock-like, and the movement must be from the hips downwards. When coming into the ball the action of the blade should be that of a footballer kicking a ball. After impact his foot is moving parallel to the ground, and so backspin is imparted. If the toe of the boot were to rise again under the ball the effect would be a sort of sling, difficult to time and gauge. In the case of chips the ball must be hit on the downswing. Essentials of Golf

Doug Sanders 1964

Just a little body wiggle before hitting the ball helps keep out tension. Tension, combined
with head movements, is what
usually makes the average golfer scuff these easy  ones. There’s actually no reason why a person should ever top a chip shot as long as the head is still. The movement takes no effort at all. Hitting a chip should be done in one easy motion; it’s almost like a little sweep. There’s just a little wrist break to keep the muscles relaxed.
Too many people have a tendency to just hit and stop. But the nice, smooth swing should go all the way through. Compact Golf

Dave Pelz 1999

When chipping, should you leave the flagstick in the hole or pull it out? I conducted a test and was surprised by the results. What did I learn? All the evidence points to one very simple rule: Leave the flagstick in whenever the Rules allow, unless it is leaning so far toward you that the ball can’t fit. Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible                            

Mitchell Spearman  2004

As you prepare to make your putting stroke, imagine there’s a thumbtack protruding from the back of your golf ball. Your goal is to tap the thumbtack firmly into the ball. This will encourage proper acceleration and solid contact with the ball and boost your confidence by providing a focus for your putting stroke.  A.I.M. of Golf 


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