Troubleshooting Chip Shots

    To close up this article, we are going to offer some troubleshooting tips. Even with an easy shot like the running chip, it is still likely that you’ll have some problems along the way. Rather than letting those problems carry on, look for a solution as soon as possible so you can trust this shot to perform for you time after time. Depending on the specific issue you are facing with your running chip, you may find the answer to the problem in the list below.

  • Tighten the backswing to avoid going long. If you keep hitting your running chip shots too far, work on shortening the length of your backswing. You don’t want to have to decelerate the club on the way into the ball, so making along backswing and then slowing down on the way to impact is a bad idea. Instead, tighten up the backswing and accelerate through the shot with a nice release of the club head. Distance control is typically the hardest part of this shot to learn, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a bit of time to dial in your speed just right.
  • Keep your head still to improve contact. One of the advantages of this shot is that you should be able to make solid contact with very little trouble. With that said, you still might find yourself miss-hitting one from time to time. When that happens, it is very likely that head movement is to blame. By moving your head before you strike the ball, you may move the rest of your upper body to a point where you will no longer be able to find the sweet spot at impact. Just as when you are putting, it is critical to hold your head perfectly still while hitting a running chip. There is nothing you need to look up early to see, so keep your eyes focused on the ball and only look up once it is gone.
  • Experiment with different clubs. For whatever reason, you might find that you are more successful with one club than another when hitting the running chip. If you are in a performance rut with this shot at the moment, try using some other clubs to see how your results change. It may be that you simply have a better feel with one of your irons than the others. For example, if you’ve been using your eight iron without much success, try using a seven- or nine-iron to see if the outcomes improve.
  • Make sure the time is right. Just like any other shot in golf, you have to use the running pitch at the right time and in the right situation. If you try to force it into a situation where it is not called for, the results are not going to be pretty. You always need to have plenty of room to work with between your ball and the hole for this shot, and you shouldn’t need to carry the shot more than a few feet in the air. By using this shot in the right situations, and opting for other types of chip shots when the running chip is not appropriate, your results will improve across the board.
  • To master the running chip shot, you need to learn how to let your right hand release the club head through the hitting area. Of course, you need to get a number of other points right as well, including using a proper stance, picking the right situation, and keeping your head still. Take time during a practice session to work on this shot and gradually start to include it on the course when the time is right. Good luck!