- Hands ahead of the ball at address.
- Shaft tilted toward the target.
- Ball struck with a descending blow to maximize spin and control trajectory.
Here’s a simple mental image to improve your chipping contact and control: Think of a chip as a miniature iron shot. The fundamentals are remarkably similar.
A standard iron shot and a straightforward chip share these key elements:
If you tend to scoop your chips, flipping the hands through impact in an attempt to lift the ball into the air, think of what happens if you make a scooping swing on a full shot. It doesn’t work very well, does it? You’ll might hit the ball thin, fat or wildly offline. The same goes for chipping.
Here’s how to play a basic chip as though hitting a full shot from the fairway:
- At address, your feet should be very close together, separated by only a few inches.
- Stand slightly to the target line and flare the left (lead) foot toward the target a few degrees.
- Play the ball in the middle of your stance.
- The left arm and shaft should form a straight line to the ball, with the hands just ahead of the ball and the shaft leaning toward the target.
- On the backswing, maintain the triangle formed by the arms, wrists and hands, with very little wrist hinge – same as the takeaway for an iron shot.
- Swinging through, return the arms and hands to their address position, keeping the hands ahead of the ball at impact to deliver a downward blow. It’s OK to take a small divot.
This image works both ways, of course, so if you’re struggling to hit solid irons, think of each shot as a super-sized chip.