Putting the Club in Motion for Chipping

    We have reached the point where we are finally going to put the club in motion. Again, as we have been saying throughout, this is a very simple golf shot. As such, there aren’t any complicated techniques to learn, and it shouldn’t take much practice time to master the swing. However, you don’t want to take this shot for granted. Consistency is the main advantage of playing a running chip shot, but you’ll only be consistent if you pay attention to the details.

    To get the swing started, you are going to imitate your putting stroke. You are going to use your shoulders to turn your upper body away from the target slightly, while your hands and wrists stay quiet and out of the action. The backswing for this shot should look almost identical to your putting stroke, although you will probably be making a slightly bigger swing than you would make with the putter. Keep your head steady, hold your body in place as carefully as possible, and set the stage for a confident forward swing.

    When the time comes to transition the club forward into the ball, your right hand is going to take center stage. The right hand is going to be used to release the club head nicely into the back of the ball, which is what you want to do in order to hit a low, running shot. This is the main technical difference between this kind of shot and a ‘standard’ chip shot which possesses a higher rate of backspin. When you release your right hand, the ball will come out low with plenty of roll, and it will easily make its way up toward the hole.

    The key here is to control the speed of the shot when you do release your right hand through impact. This release is going to transfer a lot of power into the ball, and that power may be hard to control at first. Many golfers find that they hit this shot consistently long when getting started. It will take some practice before you learn how to manage your distance effectively with the running chip shot. As you gain more and more feel for this play, you’ll find that you can use a short, compact swing to send the ball scurrying across the green with ease.

    As you practice this shot, work on aiming for different targets on the practice chipping green with the goal of mastering your ability to manage distance. It is easy to get this kind of shot on the right line, so distance control is always going to be your main concern. Go back and forth between hitting long and short chips, manipulating the length of your swing as you go. Over time, this kind of practice is going to make you far more confident in your ability to hit the running chip shot the proper distance.