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Golf Question: How Can I Improve My Golf Chipping?After putting, chipping is technically the easiest shot in golf but as we all know, statistically it isnt! The key to a good short game are flawless set up fundamentals as these slight adjustments from the full swing set up help limit the length of the swing, aid momentum through the ball and encourage a steeper angle of attack to help get the ball airborne.

The set up routine will be consistent for all types of chip shots from the 7 iron chip and run to the lob wedge chip over a bunker.

The key fundamentals for you to remember are:

  • Narrow the stance and point both feet left off the ball. This helps limit and control the length of your back swing but also allows good continuous forward momentum through impact.
  • Shift approximately 65-70% body weight to the left side at the set up and rotate around the left side, not allowing for any in-swing lateral movements which will potentially shallow the angle of attack causing thin shots.
  • Grip down on the club and push your hands ahead of the ball which should be positioned centrally in the stance - again encouraging a steeper angle of attack.
  • Try to have a longer follow through than back swing to be sure that your swing speed isnt lost through impact which can cause poor strikes.

Be careful not to over-exaggerate the above points as this could also cause poor strikes and inconsistency in distance control.

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Chipping is an extremely complex action to understand and repeat on a consistent basis because we rarely have the same shot twice so we are faced with different choices as to what type of shot to play and where to land it in comparison to a full shot into a green with a 7 iron which dont seem as pressured, for example.

Chipping requires dedication and practice of the correct fundamentals but chip shots should be played and enjoyed as often as possible. Think of how many full shots you have hit in practise and how hard you have worked to perfect your swing compared to your short game practise.

Practising chipping before a round should be done so as a warm up, but not as a last minute panic worrying that you will botch your first chip of the day on the golf course!

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There is no question that the 7 iron chip and run shots are the easiest chip shots to execute because once the fundamentals are in place, the swing is almost like a putting stroke. In fact, it is so short and very rigid through the hands with less levers working.

The 7 iron chip and run is like a pendulum action whereby the wrists remain still throughout and the swing is short but effective. The ball should be landed approximately a quarter of the distance with three quarters roll to the target.

However, this shot cannot be relied upon because we often face shots where the ball needs loft over bunkers or is nestled in thick rough. These shots require a more lofted club, bigger swings for increased height and less roll once landed. It is important that golfers learn more than one chip shot.

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Regardless of the shot in hand, it is important to try different shots each time but it is also important to weigh up the pros and cons of each shot and then determine the best shot to hit. You may want to hit a certain shot but you need to be able to execute it well. Spending hours and hours on the chipping green with a 7 iron, sand wedge, pitching wedge and lob wedge, in particular, can add a vast range of shots to your arsenal and best prepare you for the round ahead.