Video Series

Video Transcript

We've already discussed in the series of videos how the chipping technique is actually quite a simple technique, but golfers still find the skill very difficult to do. Now we know the margin of error is quite small in terms of how we actually contact the ball. But also the margin of error when we're hitting on to the green can be quite difficult to quantify as well, because golfers often struggle with the mental side of chipping as much as they struggle with the physical side of chipping.

Now, one of the key issues here is actually in terms of picking targets. Golfers see the green and think, “Well, anything on the green will do me.” Bang. The ball goes on the green, but it is not going anywhere near the flag.

Now, if you've got a shot from 20 yards out, nothing in the way to a flag. You don’t really want to be just on the green. You want to be a little bit more focused about getting it nice and close. So we want to be picking really quite small targets. Now, rather than just aiming for the green which is 20 yards wide, 20 yards deep. We want to be landing on a particular section of that green. Maybe even a particular blade of grass or an old pitch mark or something like that, something that when you look at the surface of the green you can define.

And when you’re standing up to the shot, you’re focused on that one spot when you’re practicing backwards and forwards looking at that spot. And that spot is not where you want the ball to finish. That’s the spot where you want the ball to land. So you might also need to walk up there and actually read the green a little bit.

Golfers are quite keen on reading the greens. When taking putts, we get down on old falls and we look for the left and the right, then a brake and then we hit the putt. But golfers very rarely read the green when they're chipping on. But actually when the ball lands and chips on to the green, it might roll quite a long way, particularly if you're playing a low bump-and-run shot. So it will be well-worth walking up onto the green, having a good look. Is it going to go left to right, right to left, uphill or downhill? And then you can pick an appropriate spot on the green ready to play your shot. There's no point in hitting a ball straight to the flag and then it takes that breaking curve off into a bunker and thinking, “Oh, I didn't read that.” Well, you should have done because that green didn't change shape. So walk there, have a good look around at the surface, work out your landing area.

Then as you are setting up behind the ball, pick that quite small target, a couple of nice practice swings and then go ahead and pitch the ball up to the target. And use that target for feedback. Did you hit a good shot in relation to where it finished next to that spot? And hopefully if you can practice that in your technique in your practice sessions as well, practice chipping to a spot when you practice on the golf course will definitely pay off and improve your skills the next time you play.