Playing golf can all be fun when you have the right skills and equipment. One of the challenging parts of playing golf is taking short chip shots. They are not the easiest as even experienced golfers sometimes have a hard time accomplishing such shots.
To play short chip shots around the green, you need to find the right technique and equipment. That is what we want to look at in this guide. Follow along to learn more about chip shots.
What is a Chip Shot?
A chip shot is when you play close to the green just a few yards to the putting surface. The results are that you end up popping the ball into the air briefly before it hits the ground and roll forward towards the hole.
The aim of getting the ball into the air is mainly to go over an intervening condition such as fringe or rough that is keeping you from putting.
Although you can use different types of clubs, most would prefer using a wedge. You will find many golfers opting for 7 or 8-irons for this type of shot.
Chip Shot and Pitch Shot Differences
It is common for people to confuse the two. Chip shots and pitch shots are almost the same with some subtle differences. A chip shot is when the ball becomes airborne for a short time and distance. Most of the time, the ball will be rolling on the ground.
The pitch shot on the other hand is when the ball goes higher in the air and travels most of the distance in air to the target.
As you can see, one of the shots remains on the ground more than the other. Pitch shots are played when you are farther off the green as compared to chip shot. Now you know which technique to use depending on the application.
Why Short Chip Shots are Hard for You
The most common problem that people face when taking short chip shots is because they do it with a shallow swing path. Whenever you take a shallow swing path, below are the most common problems you will face.
- For someone who is on the greenside rough, you will struggle to end up with a clean ball strike. In the process, you end up catching too much grass.
- Even for a skilled player, a shallow swing makes it easy for you to hit the ground even before hitting the ball
- The chances of creating enough momentum is hard with a shallow swing. Some are likely to over hit the ball while others decelerate during the downswing and end up destroying their rhythm.
All the factors mentioned above leave you with more tension in your wrist, making it hard to take a proper shot. It is why some might end up with a jabby shot.
If you cannot release the club properly with the body, then you end up damaging the distance control of the short chip shot. We will discuss some of the chipping drills you should consider if you hope to end up with the best short chip shots around the green.
Important Chipping Drills You Should Know About
If you are new to chipping, then the following drills should get you better at it. Remember, every skill in golf requires practice. The more you work on these drills, the better you become at taking short chip shots around the green.
The Triangle Chipping Drill
You might get in other materials they refer to it as the Y chipping drill. For many who have tried out this chipping drill, they end up with an improved chipping experience the following day.
With this chipping drill, focus on creating a letter “y” between your arms and the club shaft. Also, put 60 to 70% of your weight on the front foot. Make sure to hold this shape during the entire time of your swing and let the upper body do the entire work.
This technique ensures that you create enough downward blow on the ball. If you try it out several times, you will find that sculling the ball around the green is no more. You will always get the ball to where you want.
The video below has more details
The Hula Hoop Drill
The Hula Hoop drill can be done for both chipping and pitching. Luckily, you can practice this technique at a local park, practice range, or even in your yard. The idea is to get the most chips within a hula hoop distance. This should make it easier for you to replicate the same on the green.
To work on this drill, you need a hula hoop or a circle with a similar size made of string. Proceed to set up the golf balls at an interval of 5 yards from the hoop. Having 8 balls from 5 to 40 yards should be fine. Proceed to chip the first ball from the hoop and try to have it land within the hoop. Each time you make a successful chip, move onto the ball further from the hoop.
To make it interesting, the moment you miss one, restart the shots from the beginning.
This chipping drill is all about challenging yourself to utilize different types of chip shots depending how far you are from the target. Always keep an eye on how far you have to go before restarting the game.
Trail Hand Release Drill for Chipping
The most common mistakes to ending up with chipping mistakes is when the lead hand stops just before hitting the ball and then the trail hand flips. The result is that you end up with a shot you cannot control. Most people do this as a way of trying to help the ball get into the air by letting the club face do most of the work, but that is not always the case.
So, how do you solve this? First, take the normal chipping stance. Such include keeping the feet narrow, the ball off your back foot, and keeping 60 percent of the body weight on the front foot. Take the normal chipping swing, but this time, drop the trail hand from the grip before impact. Always focus on keeping the lead arm going directly towards your target.
This drill requires a lot of practice to achieve muscle memory. However, once you get the idea, taking the short chip shots around the green should be easy.
Chipping Drill Using a Coin
Yes, you read it right. For this drill, we will be chipping a coin to improve your golfing skills. The best part is that chipping coins can be done in the comfort of your home.
You need to challenge yourself to chipping coins and see how crispier you can get them into the air. This drill will not only help you gain better accuracy, but also handle the golf ball from various positions.
The drill will make you focus on the coin throughout the chip until it is in the air to end up with pin-point accuracy with different wedges. Set a cup in the room and try to chip the coins into it.
Use an old wedge for the practice sessions as coins can start to make dents into a wedge easily depending on the force used.
Here is a video with more tips on how to chip a coin
The Slam Dunk Drill for Chipping
This is a nice way of passing time while at the same time learning more about chipping. The drill is simple as you only have to pick a target 10 to 30 yards away and try to slam dunk as multiple shots as possible without touching the green.
You can have a lot of fun working on this drill and still end up being better at your game. Below is a quick video demonstrating how this drill is done.
How to Drop and Stop Your Short Chip Shots Around the Green Correctly
Any golfer knows that perfecting short chip shots around the green can make you a star. There are many things that go into making the right shot. So, we want to look at how to drop and stop the chip shots.
To end up with the best technique, you need to look at two possibilities, which include stopping your ball with spin and stopping the ball with loft. Let us look at each one of them.
Stopping your ball with spin
To make this happen, you need to consider a few things such as a clean contact, the downward strike, and speed.
You need to make a clean contact between the club and the top of the turf to end up with a good chip. A clean contact allows the face of the wedge to bite on your ball and deliver plenty of backspin. For those who end up with the wrong contact, the ball will end up scurrying around the green and go past the hole.
To make the best shot with backspin, you need to use the right speed too. Keep in mind that this is not a conservative shot. You need to be committed if you are going to make it work. The idea is to give the ball enough speed to get up to the hole. Keep in mind that it might bounce once or twice before getting to the target sometimes. Take a practice session to learn more about controlling speed for backspins and generating the best chip shots.
Along with having a clean contact and speed, you also have to consider the downward strike too. The strike should be aimed at hitting the ball in a way that it rolls up the club face and spin hard towards the target. For righties, keep the left wrist flat and firm when the club hits the ball.
Stopping the Ball with Loft
Sometimes you might have to use loft to stop the chip shots. Well, it is not always easy to do. It is more difficult than the spinning tip shared above.
To use loft for stopping the ball, you need to open the face. This goes even for the highly-lofted clubs such as the 58 and 60 wedges. Opening the face helps to address the kind of loft you get with a shot. To open the face, you need to turn the head while building your stance.
When swinging, you need to keep the club parallel with the ground top or hit the ball up slightly if you have enough room to do so. You should consider placing the ball forward during your stance. This makes it easy to swing through a proper angle.
Just like mentioned in the other tip above, the speed is also important. The aim of the speed is to help send the ball high enough into the air and let the momentum carry it to the target.
Choosing the Right Club for Chipping
There are several things that go into picking the right club for the job. You need to look at what is between you and the ball. Is there a bunker or rough to go over? Well, if there is something you need to loft over, then the best option would be using a lofted wedge.
For those playing in an area where there is nothing between you and the green, then the options are many. First, you need to set your landing spot. If you want to keep the ball on the ground, then the best choice is to work with a putter.
Other factors that can affect whether to put or chip include the grass thickness, terrain evenness, amount of fringe and fairway, and the lie.
For grass that is too long, then know that it would put too much drag on your ball and affect the distance it covers. Depending on the terrain, you might experience some bumps or divots on the course that affect how you chip also.
You should evaluate all these options before making up your mind about the best club for short chip shots around the green.
To end up with the best short chips around the green, you are supposed to try out several types of drills as we have mentioned in the guide above. These drills will not improve your skills overnight, but will get you to become a better golfer. Take your time to try out our drills and more to see how your chipping game improves. You can always invest in more lessons with instructors to help build your skills even better.