The best way to get the golf ball close to the hole when chipping is to use the correct amount of loft on the golf club, minimizing effort and power, therefore maximizing control and accuracy.
Key points to choose the correct club when chipping:
- Use the club with the least amount of loft where possible as this will mean you have to use the least amount of power and club head speed to reach the preferred distance you require. This also reduces the chances of a disastrous shot as the ball will not be travelling as fast if the golf ball is hit incorrectly.
- What does the ball need to get over? If the answer is nothing, then your choice of limited loft becomes very easy as the shot does not require elevation, so if you cannot putt the golf ball on to the green use a golf club that has very little loft but will still be used to chip with. A club with the loft of a seven or eight iron would be perfect for this type of job. If you do have to get over some obstacles such as slopes, bunkers, rough, trees, or water, the club choice becomes easier as we can no longer play the low lofted golf shot. We have to play a shot with elevation to make sure we manage to loft the golf ball over any unwanted obstacles.
- How much green do you have to work with? Is the pin at the front or the back? This calculation becomes very important in the decisions we make when playing the shot. Can we afford to allow the golf ball to roll on the green to a flag at the back or do we have to land the golf ball short of the green and make the golf ball stop quickly for a pin that is at the front of the green?
- We can start thinking about the best possible landing spots on the green to make sure we get close enough when we come to execute the golf shot.
- Read the green to maximize the chance of getting the golf ball to finish as close to the flag as possible. Read the green as if you were reading the breaks on the green when putting. This way you can learn how the ball will react once it starts rolling and take into consideration any slopes or undulations on the putting surface.
Top tip - Pick a landing spot as close to the edge of the green as possible making sure we can get the ball rolling as soon as possible for the rest of the way along the floor. This way the ball can travel smoother and more consistently rather than bouncing all around the green uncontrollably.