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Golf Question: Can I Use A Putting Stroke To Hit My Golf Chip Shots?Other than putting, chipping is technically the easiest technique for golfers to master, but it causes difficulties because of the precision and strike that is needed.




The set up fundamentals from a full shot to a chip shot do change a little with the stance becoming narrower, the weight distributed more to the left side and the hands ahead of the ball. These adjustments are to promote a downward blow into the ball to get the initial height on the shot.

The stroke of the shot can be the same as a putting stroke to help create that pendulum rhythm and no wrist action whilst keeping the hands ahead at impact. This makes distance control easier as the player now only needs to focus on the length of swing and follow through as opposed to hinging and releasing the wrists during the swing.

To practice this, ensure your set up routine is correct then using a pitching wedge. Start with short golf swings and look at the distance the ball is travelling. To work on the distance control, relate the swing to the clock face method. For example, the club is at 6 oclock when in the address position then swing from 7 oclock to 4 oclock. The extra follow through is to allow for a consistent speed and rhythm through impact. Extend the length of the swing from 8 oclock to 3 oclock. Do this with a pitching wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge to gain nine different yardages and types of shot using only three clubs and three swings lengths.

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Specialist chips like the flop shot almost require a full swing so interpreting a putting stroke would not create the necessary club head speed or spin on the ball to get the height in order for the ball to land and stop quick enough, for example, over a bunker or on a downhill slope.

A flop shot requires an open faced club for increased loft, therefore the stance needs to be adjusted so the player can aim correctly at the target. It is then important to swing along the line of the body, cutting across the ball to create as much height and spin as possible. This full swing movement will use the wrists that invariably will increase the angle of attack which creates more spin. It is an extremely high risk shot so must be practised intensely on the practice ground.

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Some golfers can chip extremely well with a wristy chipping action, but consistent golfers chip well with a more simplistic and pendulum like action where parts of the putting stroke are incorporated into the swing.

A player who uses a lot of wrists during a chip shot can create an immense amount of spin through club head speed and strike, however, it can and will lead to an array of bad shots such as the thin shot where the wrists work too early on the down swing and the clubs angle into the ball shallows and hits the middle of the ball.

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Chipping is not about power and speed. It is about finesse and control, therefore swing speed into the ball is totally irrelevant unless using what we may call a specialist shot, for example, the flop shot or a chip from very thick rough where spin and momentum are required to produce both of these shots.