How to Improve your Golf Chipping Stroke

By: Charles Peter Lindup

If you can have the confidence to get your golf balls close to the hole nearly every time you make a golf chipping stroke, your scores are going to come tumbling down faster than you can possibly imagine!

What Is The Chip Shot?

Basically, the chip shot is a flat or low flying, forward moving approach shot.

It's intended to be used in situations where there is no immediate obstacle between your ball and the target.

Suppose you happened to miss the green with your second shot and your ball landed on the apron or close to the edge of the green. It may not be possible for you to use your putter, because the grass is longer on the apron than it is on the green.

This difference in grass texture is going to affect the roll of the ball, so the idea is to chip the ball over the grass and try to land the ball on the short manicured green, where it can then roll out towards the flag.

You may also have a slight undulation in front of you. If you took the putter to play this shot, the depth of the undulation and the length of grass you're playing from will also affect the way the ball reacts.

So we need to learn how the ball is going to react once we hit it.

Why Is Chipping So Important?

Golf is not about how far you can hit the ball.

Golf is mainly a target game which demands hitting the ball various distances and seeing how low your score can be at the end of a particular round.

If you can save shots by improving your golf chipping technique, your scores will be lower and as a result your handicap will improve.

Distance & Direction - The Two Secrets To Mastering Your Golf Chipping

Remember, as in Putting, the only way to have consistency is when you can control your distance and direction.

All putts and chips which go in the hole, or come to rest next to the hole, have the magic ingredient of distance and direction.

The saving grace for you is that you're going to have at least a fifty percent chance of success no matter what your ball does, so long as you can hit it!

The only question you really need to be asking yourself is - "By how much do I want to increase my percentage of success?"

Once you get yourself into the top 70% or 80% range, you're going to see your handicap come down so fast, it's not going to be funny!

Judging Distance - Flat Level Green's Are Easier To Judge

The idea is to get you to understand that if you can imagine playing all your short shots, as though you were playing to a level green, that's one that has no undulations or slopes by the way, you'll be able to gauge the roll of the ball more precisely.

You must understand this one very important fact, if you're going to get good at chipping.

The one thing you really have to burn into your brain is that no matter how long or how short a chip shot you have, THE BALL IS GOING TO ROLL SOME DISTANCE!

I rarely see people chipping around the green and the ball sticks to the ground as soon as it lands. First of all it's an impossible scenario to imagine and secondly the laws of motion won't allow it to happen!

So, you had better get ready to understand that your golf ball is going to roll some distance after it hits the green.

Once you start to appreciate this point, you're now ready to develop a technique that takes this fact into consideration.

If you're not aware of the distance that your ball is going to roll, you're not going to get your ball really close to the hole, no matter how good a player you are.

A good way to get used to this new adjustment in your approach is to stand on the edge of the green and just roll balls up to the hole.

You can do this quite easily and it won't take you long to get used to how much the ball actually begins to roll and react to the slope or "borrow" as we like to call it.

Once you are aware of the Landing Area and not the Finishing Area, you will be absolutely amazed at how good your perception and feel will begin to evolve.

So do the same exercise again, except this time, try and gauge where the ball needs to land so that it rolls out and finishes next to or near to the hole you've chosen.

After you've done this exercise a few times, you're now ready to move onto understanding why the pro's are so good at chipping!

Why 3 Clubs And What's So Special About Them?

If you've watched any live coverage of golf tournaments on the television, then you've no doubt been amazed at just how good the pro's are at getting up and down from around the green.

It doesn't matter how difficult the shot looks, they always seem to be able to get it close and on the rare occassion - it even goes in!

The majority of pro's only hit about thirteen or fourteen greens in regulation during a round of golf, so somewhere along the way they're going to have to chip or pitch the ball close enough to the hole, so that they only need a putt to save their par.

The Secret Clubs The Pro's Use!

The 3 clubs that the pro's choose to use are the one's which allow them to get the majority of their balls close to the hole, even if they make a mistake!

The three clubs are:

The Pitching Wedge

The Sand Iron

The Eight Iron

The Pitching Wedge is the cornerstone. This is what everything revolves around.

The Pitching Wedge will be used for a ball that has to fly fifty percent of the way to the target and then roll the other fifty percent of the distance to the hole.

The Sand Iron is used when the ball has to fly two-thirds of the way to the target and then roll one-third after landing.

And the Eight Iron is used when the ball only has to fly one-third of the way to the target and then is expected to roll the other two-thirds.

So if we break that formula down for you, you can see that the pro's use percentages to increase their skill.

Let's see that formula broken down:

Pitching Wedge - 50% Carry - 50% Roll

Sand Iron - 2/3 Carry - 1/3 Roll

Eight Iron - 1/3 Carry - 2/3 Roll

Now, the next time you get to play a chip shot, remember how far the ball needs to roll after it lands on the green, then choose one of the clubs above to help you get it closer!

Remember - "Play with Passion!"

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