To understand what the arms should be doing during the chipping stroke, we first need to understand what constitutes a chip shot.
A chip shot is played from around a green and sees the ball rise into the air before landing on the putting surface and releasing out to the hole. The chipping technique also has defining features. In a chip shot, the club shaft shouldn’t reach a point where it travels past parallel to the ground. If it does, the wrists will begin to hinge and create extra power, this is where the pitch shot begins. To understand what the arms should be doing during a chip shot it is better to look at the technique in full.
How to execute a chip and run shot
- Hold the club slightly further down the grip for more control.
- The club face should be square to the ball-to-target line and the shoulders parallel to this line. The feet and hips, however, should be slightly open to the target line. This is because the chipping swing is short and the golfer doesn’t have the time to build up enough momentum to turn the hips through impact. This is why golfers should pre-set the impact position.
- The ball should be positioned just back of center in the stance with 60% of body weight on the front foot. The hands should also be opposite the front thigh. By leaning the shaft towards the target slightly it will be easier to create a clean contact and descending blow on the ball.
- After taking the correct set up, the swing is mostly controlled with the shoulders rocking back and through. The grip should be kept as light as possible to increase feel. The shoulders, arms and club shaft lean towards the target to create a ‘y’ shape.
- As the shoulders rock back, the arms, wrists and hands stay connected with each other. This means the arms move back under the control of the shoulders, the wrists move back under the control of the arms and hands rock back and through.
- At impact, the left arm and back of the left wrist should be held firm to ensure there is no flicking of the club head at the ball.
- The hands return ahead of the club head at impact and the shoulders, arms, and club shaft maintain the Y shape.
During the chipping shot, the arms only rotate very slightly on the way back and through although the movement is so slight the golfer shouldn’t be aware. Using the arms as the connecting factor between the shoulders and hands will produce more consistent results and achieve more par saves on the course.