To repeat this section’s introductory theme: You must strike down on the ball to hit crisp, controlled chip shots.

    That means keeping the hands ahead of the clubhead passing through impact, rather than flipping the wrists in an attempt to lift the ball into the air.

    This basic drill can be practiced in your back yard:

  • Drop a ball to chip, and place another one about nine inches behind it directly on the target line.

  • Take a normal chipping stance – feet close together, ball in the center, a little extra weight on your left (lead) side, hands slightly forward, shaft leaning toward the target.

  • Now chip the object ball without hitting the one behind it on the backswing or downswing.
  • This drill forces you to pick the club up somewhat abruptly, then bring it down onto the back of the ball. If you lean to your right side at any time, the clubhead’s path will be too low and strike the wrong ball. If you flip the wrists, same thing.

    Be careful not to pick up the club too quickly with the hands. You want to keep the hands fairly quiet on shorter chips, using an arms-and-shoulders swing.