With players requiring a whole host of different shots and techniques during a typical 18 holes, we all know that golf can be a complicated game. That’s why I believe in keeping this area as simple as possible especially in my beginners guide to chipping. I have three clubs here – my 56˚ wedge (sand wedge), my 9-iron and my 7-iron. I am now going to show you one technique that remains the same for each club but provides very different results.
1 The Technique
A sound chipping technique is all about grooving a technique you can repeat reliably every time. At address, place the ball centrally in your stance and set a fraction more of your weight on your left side (not too much!). The swing itself requires the triangle created between your shoulders and the clubhead to be maintained through the swing. This will activate the bounce of the club through impact for a better quality of strike. This means you must avoid breaking your wrists. You are looking for a nice, even length of stroke back and through. To help facilitate the soft, smooth rhythm required, your legs should have a good amount of flex to help drive my weight through impact. This will help you avoid having a static, mechanical action that lacks any real feel.
2 Angle of attack
If you get the technique we’ve already explained right, you’ll have a shallow angle of attack into the ball. This is essential for the reliable strike that will deliver the very best in distance control. What you must avoid is setting the ball too far back in your stance and hitting down too through impact. This causes a ‘hot’ contact that becomes very hard to judge.
I’ve already mentioned rhythm but I want to underline this as it’s imperative for a good short game. You want a relatively slow and smooth motion without any jerky stabs at the ball – this will provide plenty of spin control once the ball hits the green. For this, make sure your grip pressure at address is light. If you are squeezing the club you’ll lose the natural feel and rhythm required to control this shot. Distance control is essential for a good chipping game and this is an important part of that.
4 Landing zones
I’ve laid out here a great practice drill to use with this technique. Place three objects (I’ve used hoops but you can lay down towels, golf clubs or even tees to mark these areas) on the green at the spot you’d expect to land your sand wedge, 9-iron and 7-iron. Simply hit a series of shots aiming to pitch the ball in the different zones (the 7-iron you should aim to pitch in the area nearest to you, the 9 in the middle and the sand iron up towards the flag). Notice the different flights and the different amounts or roll you are getting with each club. When you come to the course to compete for real, always pick the club that will pitch the ball on the nearest flat spot to you on the green. This will deliver the most reliable results.
Andrew’s Beginners Guide To Chipping Checklist
– Place the ball centrally in your stance
– Maintain the triangle between your shoulders and clubhead through the stroke
– Develop a smooth, relatively slow rhythm by keeping a light grip pressure