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    Here’s a simple mental image to improve your chipping contact and control: Think of a chip as a miniature iron shot. The fundamentals are remarkably similar. 

    A standard iron shot and a straightforward chip share these key elements: 

  • Hands ahead of the ball at address.
  • Shaft tilted toward the target.
  • Ball struck with a descending blow to maximize spin and control trajectory. 

  • If you tend to scoop your chips, flipping the hands through impact in an attempt to lift the ball into the air, think of what happens if you make a scooping swing on a full shot. It doesn’t work very well, does it? You’ll might hit the ball thin, fat or wildly offline. The same goes for chipping. 

    Here’s how to play a basic chip as though hitting a full shot from the fairway: 

  1. At address, your feet should be very close together, separated by only a few inches.

  2. Stand slightly to the target line and flare the left (lead) foot toward the target a few degrees.

  3. Play the ball in the middle of your stance.

  4. The left arm and shaft should form a straight line to the ball, with the hands just ahead of the ball and the shaft leaning toward the target.

  5. On the backswing, maintain the triangle formed by the arms, wrists and hands, with very little wrist hinge – same as the takeaway for an iron shot.

  6. Swinging through, return the arms and hands to their address position, keeping the hands ahead of the ball at impact to deliver a downward blow. It’s OK to take a small divot. 

This image works both ways, of course, so if you’re struggling to hit solid irons, think of each shot as a super-sized chip.