Planning Techniques for Successful Chip Shots

    In this last section, we are going to shift gears a bit and talk about how to plan a successful chip shot. Just like all other golf shots, it is necessary to plan your chip shots carefully in order to leave the ball by the hole when all is said and done. Planning a chip shot is not as difficult as planning a full shot, since you are starting so close to the target, but you still need to take the time to work out all the details before making your swing.

    Below, we have provided a step-by-step process you can go through to plan your chip shots successfully. Of course, you can feel free to make changes to this process as you see fit, but it should work pretty nicely as is.

  • Find your target. The starting point for this process is to find your target. At first, you might think that you’ll just aim at the hole, but that isn’t always the right call. Sometimes, you will want to aim slightly to the left or right of the hole, in order to set up an easier putt. Take an overall view of the shot you are facing and decide on a target that will give you a good chance for an up and down.
  • Pick your club. Once you have a target in mind, the next step is to pick out the club that you think will give you the best chance of reaching your target successfully. As a good rule of thumb, you should try to keep the ball on the ground for as much of the journey to the hole as possible. Chip shots played along the ground tend to be more reliable than those played up in the air, but you obviously can’t play every chip shot low, depending on the layout of the course between your ball and the hole. Evaluate the shot and then select the right club for the task at hand.
  • Pick your landing spot. The final step in the process is to pick out a specific landing spot on the way to your target. The landing spot is just that – a spot where you would like the ball to land. If you are using a highly-lofted club, you’ll probably need to land the ball pretty close to your actual target. On the other hand, a low chip shot is going to require a landing spot that is barely onto the edge of the green. With practice, you should get better and better at picking the perfect landing spot for each of your different types of chip shots. Once your landing spot has been selected, all that’s left to do is execute a great swing and land the ball as close to that spot as possible.
  • It should be your goal to build a chipping motion which includes a simple swing of the arms, and not much else. When you simplify your motion, you will achieve more consistent results, and you’ll likely perform better under pressure as well. Chipping is an area of the game that gives many amateur golfers problems, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little bit of practice and by paying attention to the right fundamentals, you can raise the level of your chipping play in the near future. Good luck!