Do you regularly practice your chipping?

How to Practice Your Chipping Techniques

If not, adding chipping to your standard practice routine is the first step toward improvement. Nothing in your golf game is going to get significantly better without practice, and that certainly holds true with respect to chipping. This is a challenging part of the game, and only players who are willing to work on their chipping skill will actually improve in the long run.

When you do schedule some time to work on your chipping, you’ll need to know how to organize that session in order to get the best possible results. Use the techniques below to help formulate a chipping routine that serves your needs nicely.

  • Seek out variety. First and foremost, you need to look for as much variety as you can find when working on your chipping. It is common to see players make the mistake of hitting all of their practice chip shots from flat, fairway-length lies. That is a good place to start, but you won’t get much better if you stop there. Most of the chip shots you face on an actual golf course will include some sort of complicating factor. Maybe you will be chipping from an awkward slope, or maybe the ball will be sitting down in some deep grass. Whatever the case, your goal should be to prepare for as many different situations as possible, so you feel confident when confronted with difficult on-course chip shots.
  • Focus, focus, focus. For some reason, many golfers seem to get into the habit of just ‘zoning out’ when they are hitting practice chip shots. They won’t pick a specific target, they won’t have a plan for their shots, and they will generally just be ‘going through the motions’. You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that this kind of practice is rarely beneficial. Instead, you should be paying close attention to each shot you hit, even if that means you need to dramatically slow down your practice routine. For instance, it would be far better to hit just 10 shots in 10 minutes than to hit 30 shots in that same 10-minute time frame, since you would have to rush through the process to hit such a large volume of shots. Take your time, think about what you are doing, and make your practice count.
  • Use different clubs. This point carries on the theme of variety from earlier in the list. It would be a mistake to use just one club while you practice your chipping, as that single club is probably not going to be able to handle all of the different chip shots you will face on the course. Instead, try using at least two, if not three, different clubs so you can be prepared for as many situations as possible.

There doesn’t need to be anything complicated about your short game practice sessions, but you do need to pay attention to what you are doing and add as much variety as possible to your work.

Making Your Short Putts

Making Your Short Putts

There are few things in golf quite as frustrating as hitting an excellent chip shot up to within just a couple feet of the hole – only to miss the putt and fail to get up and down. In this last section, we want to help you make those pesky short putts by providing a few useful tips.

  • Head and eyes still. You’ve probably heard this one before, but we couldn’t leave it off the list. You need to keep your head and eyes as still as possible if you want to be accurate with your short putts. The main challenge at hand is to hit your intended line, and that is only going to happen with plenty of stability.
  • Ball forward in your stance. It should be easier to make your short putts when you place the ball toward the front of your stance. This will make it a bit easier to see the line properly, and you should also be able to swing up nicely through the ball. You don’t want to place the ball all the way up by your left foot, but it should be comfortably forward of center.
  • Short backstroke. If you let your backstroke get too long, you’ll need to decelerate on the way into the ball – and that may cause the putter face to open or close slightly. Keep your backswing nice and short and accelerate smoothly into the ball to knock the putt right into the back of the cup.

Chipping the ball closer will help your game in a number of ways. You’ll get up and down more often, of course, which is always a good thing. Also, you may notice a mental boost on your approach shots. Since you will have confidence in your ability to chip it close if you do miss the green, you should feel less pressure and be free to simply make your best swing. Good luck!