Chipping Shots Off Your Game
By: Dan Davis, PGA Professional Thousand Hills Golf Resort, and Missouri Golf Instruction
It always amazes how many avid golfers still refer to chip shot golf as a pitch or vice versa. How do we know the difference? A pitch shot will generally fly further than it rolled. We would like to use a golf chip shot when we want the ball to roll on the putting surface further than it flew. The chip shot is mostly used within a few feet of the putting surface when putting is not an option. I often refer to this shot as one of the simplest learned, easiest to repeat and least athletic shots in golf. If done properly it will be the most awe-inspiring, daunting, score dwindling shot in your arsenal.
♦Setting up –You will need to start in a stance that is shoulder width apart and is somewhat open to your target line. The majority of your body weight should be on your left or front foot. The hands and grip should be pressed toward the target so much that the butt of the club is pointing just past the left side of your torso. The club head lags behind the hands at address and the ball is basically in the middle of the stance.
♦The Stroke – That’s right–just as in putting, I call this a stroke rather than a swing. Very similar to a putt we want somewhat of a pendulum motion and absolutely do not want any change of the wrist angle that you had at your address position. Again this is not an athletic motion so there should be very little weight shift from the front foot and the majority of the weight should stay toward the target of your chip shot golf.
♦Distance Control – Again just as in putting, we will make a direct correlation between the distance of the shot and the length of the backswing. A constant repeatable acceleration through impact is required. Unlike a putt the acceleration is made in a downward motion through the back of the ball causing the ball to hop slightly at impact before rolling out for the remainder of its journey.
There’s a reason that chip shots are one of the most often shown golf highlights on ESPN. Done correctly, chip shot golf is one of the most rewarding and impressive shots in the Gentleman’s Game.
See a video of Dan’s instruction in action to improve your chip shot.
Dan Davis is a PGA Professional and leader in Missouri Golf Instruction. For more pro tips, or for personalized instruction contact Dan at Thousand Hills Golf Course.