Stop Fatting Golf Chip Shots Right Now 1

There is nothing worse than being at the side of the green, ready to chip the ball close to save your par, and you end up hitting the golf ball just in front of you because you caught the ground first behind the golf ball and hit the chip shot fat.

You then are maybe left with another chip shot because you missed the green and now you have to get up and down for bogey. This terrible shot can be fixed easily by using the correct technique and by following this tip.

Fault - A player when faced with a short chip shot can often have the tendency to try and create height by increasing the dynamic loft by leaning back and scooping. The problem with this type of movement is that it causes an upward strike when coming into the golf shot. The bottom of the golf swing normally happens behind the golf ball and the club catches the ground resulting in a shot that has hit the floor behind the golf ball.

Stop Fatting Golf Chip Shots Right Now 2

Fix - Keeping the weight forward at set up really helps to guarantee a very good strike. At set up, place 60% of your body weight on to the left hand side to help with striking the golf ball cleanly. From this point, the centre of gravity will be forwards. It will be much easier to contact the golf ball cleaner and much better as the first contact the golf club will make is with the golf ball. Reducing the flicking of the wrist action to get the golf ball in the air is the next important factor when attempting to strike a chip shot cleanly. If the wrists flick at impact, the club can extend too early, and the club can hit the ground behind the golf ball.

Top tip - When playing a chip shot, maintain very little lateral slide and aim to keep the weight on the front foot throughout the golf swing. Make sure the centre of gravity stays on the front side to make sure the golf ball is hit first then the floor after.

Use less loft - Where possible, use a golf club that has less loft so that the power of the stroke can be reduced and the ability to strike the golf ball cleanly can be increased.

When using less loft, the golf club can approach the golf ball from a slightly shallower angle and this will reduce the chance of a bad contact with the golf ball.

How to Stop Fatting Golf Chip Shots Right Now!

How to Stop Fatting Golf Chip Shots Right Now!

We've all been there. Your golf ball is sitting just off the edge of the green, and you have a good lie and a clear path to the hole. This should be an easy chip shot, so you pick out your favorite wedge and identify a landing spot that will allow the ball to bounce and roll out perfectly to the cup. With the planning complete, you take one last look at the target, start your swing, and - thud. Your wedge hits the ground a few inches short of the ball, and the results are ugly. The ball barely moves forward at all, and you are left with almost the exact same shot you were just facing. Worst of all, you are going to have to look up and see your buddies laughing at the embarrassing shot you just hit.

There is nothing fun about hitting a fat chip shot. In addition to being embarrassing, this mistake is going to cost you at least one stroke on the scorecard. Also, your confidence will be harmed for future chip shots, meaning you are more likely to make other mistakes later in the day. To get your game on track, and to have more fun during your rounds, you are going to need to take this mistake out of your game. No one is perfect when chipping the ball, but you can at least correct your technique to make a fat shot an unlikely outcome.

In this article, we are going to cover the topic of fat chip shots from top to bottom. To start with, we are going to look at the technical components of the chip shot, because it is obviously important to have your technique in place. However, you can't rely on technique alone to get the job done. There is a mental side to this equation as well. By bringing together great technique with a proper mindset, you can turn yourself into an excellent chipper in short order.

If you are one of the many amateur golfers who usually ignores the short game during practice, you are going to need to change that habit right away. No matter how many articles you read on the short game, you aren't going to improve unless you spend some time working on your performance. Plan on using half of your practice time on a given day for full swings, while the other half is dedicated to chipping and putting. If you get into the habit of splitting your time in this manner, there is little doubt that your short game will come a long way in the weeks and months ahead.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Building a Solid Chipping Motion

Building a Solid Chipping Motion

Fat chip shots point to a flaw in your physical technique. It is true that there is a mental side to chipping – and we are going to get to that later – but you won't consistently hit fat shots unless there is a problem with your technique. Fortunately, proper chipping technique is actually pretty simple. You can improve your chipping far quicker than you can improve your full swing, so you should be excited to work on this aspect of your game. Put in some practice time in the days and weeks ahead and you may be able to eliminate your fat chip shots in no time at all.

There are five keys that you need to recognize when working on your chipping technique. Obey the five keys listed below and you can be sure you are on the right track.

  • Balance is required. This point should not be a surprise, as you always need to be well-balanced in this game. However, we need to highlight balance at the top of the list because it is so essential to your success when chipping. You need to start out balanced, of course, but you are probably doing just fine on that point. It is after the chipping motion begins where you may be running into trouble. Many golfers lean back away from the target while swinging the club, in the hopes of lifting the ball off the ground. This is a move which is going to cause nothing but trouble – and can easily lead to fat shots. You don't need to help the ball off the ground because the club you are holding has plenty of loft to do the job. Simply stay balanced and swing through impact to strike the shot crisply time after time.
  • Stand open to the target line. Many golfers miss this point when setting up for a chip shot. If you fail to stand open to the line, you will make it more likely that a fat shot will occur. By standing open, you can swing naturally across the line from outside to inside – which is perfect for achieving a clean hit and getting the ball up in the air with ease. Set your left foot a few inches farther back from the target line than your right foot and then swing along that line while hitting the shot. This may feel a bit odd at first if you are used to standing square, but stick with it and you should get comfortable soon enough.
  • Hands in front of the ball. With the exception of a few 'specialty' short game shots – such as a flop shot – you need to keep your hands in front of the ball at impact when chipping. To make sure they wind up in front of the ball at impact, you will want to set up with your hands in front of the ball at address. This will cause the shaft to lean forward slightly, meaning it will be easy to hit down through the ball. If you are currently hitting many of your chip shots fat, it is likely that you are leaning the shaft away from the target, either at address or at some point during the swing. To steer clear of the fat shots, lean the shaft toward the target when taking your stance, and make sure your left wrist is in a firm and flat position.
  • Let your right hand work. One of the biggest problems for amateur golfers when trying to hit chip shots is the fact they have usually been told to use their 'putting stroke' with a wedge. The idea is that you should keep your hands completely quiet during the chipping action – a notion which is simply incorrect. You need to use your hands while you chip. Specifically, you need to use your right hand to propel the club head through the ball. If you keep your right hand out of the picture, you will drag the club through the ball and it is likely that you will hit a fat shot. As you practice, be aware of the role that your hands are playing and let the right hand work through the hitting area in order to strike the ball cleanly.
  • Accelerate through impact. This last point on our list should not be overlooked. Once you transition from the backswing to the downswing in your chipping action, there is no holding back – you need to accelerate the club all the way through impact and into the finish. It is common for golfers to lose confidence when the club starts moving forward, and those golfers will often wind up hitting the ball fat as a result. Don't give in to your doubts by decelerating the club. Swing through toward the target with confidence and expect to see a good outcome.

The list above probably sounds simple enough, but it can be tricky to execute if you fail to put in the necessary practice time. As you work on your chipping, watch out for each of these five points and work on them one by one until each is an integral part of your method. With rock-solid mechanics in place, it is unlikely you will hit very many fat chip shots in the rounds to come.

The Right Attitude

The Right Attitude

With the mechanical discussion out of the way, we can now turn our attention to the space between your ears. As is always the case in golf, the mental game is going to play a big part of your success or failure when chipping. Using your mind properly before and during your chip shots will pay off in a big way – but thinking incorrectly will cost you just the same. Learning how to point your mind in the right direction is just as important as learning how to swing the club properly through the hitting area.

To start, you always need to have a positive attitude when chipping. This is not a tip which applies only to avoiding fat shots, but just to chipping well in general. If you aren't thinking positively before your chip shots, you are unlikely to wind up with a successful result. The problem is that you will usually be in a negative frame of mind when you find yourself in a spot where you need to hit a chip. You have missed the green, obviously, so the swing you just made may have been a poor one. Somewhere between the place where you played your approach shot and the position of the ball, you need to let go of your frustration and refocus on the job at hand. There is nothing you can do about that poor swing, so forget about it and think only about hitting a great chip. With one excellent swing from around the green, you can erase that mistake and still walk away with a par.

In addition to positive thinking, you also need to have confidence that you can execute the shot you are going to have to play. This is usually where amateur golfers fall off track. The typical amateur really doesn't believe in his or her own ability to chip the ball – so they stand over the shot with doubt and fear. As you would expect, the results of a shot which is struck while you are feeling doubtful about your game are unlikely to be positive. Confidence is vital in golf, and you certainly need it when chipping.

There is only one way you can add confidence to your short game – practice. You are going to have to practice if you expect to take your short game to a new level. Your practice sessions are going to help you refine your physical technique, of course, but they are also going to help you with improved confidence. Seeing so many good shots come off of your wedge in practice is bound to make your think more of your chipping ability when you get onto the course. This won't even be a conscious change, necessarily – you will simply start to expect better results because you will have hit so many good shots previously.

Getting back to the original topic of avoiding fat shots while chipping, having the right attitude is certainly going to help you achieve that goal. When you expect to hit good shots, you will hit a higher percentage of good shots – meaning you will hit the ball fat less frequently. Is there still a chance you will catch one fat from time to time? Sure, but don't count on it happening very often. The combination of confidence and technique that you should now have in your short game will help you avoid the dreaded fat shot in most cases.

Making a Chipping Plan

Making a Chipping Plan

At first, you might not think that planning your chip shots would have much to do with avoiding fat shots. These topics are closely related, however, as planning out your shots will give you purpose and direction – two things you need to keep your confidence up as you accelerate toward the target. Without a plan in mind, you are likely to make an unsure swing. And, of course, the words 'unsure' and 'confidence' really don't go together in the same sentence.

It is easy to say that you are going to plan out each of your chip shots, but it is another thing to actually do it. What is included in such a plan? How do you consistently plan your shots correctly time after time? The points below should send you in the right direction.

  • Pick a landing spot. This is always where you want to start. There are two phases to each chip shot you play, the in-air phase, and the bounce and roll phase. In order to succeed in the short game, you need to separate these two phases by a perfectly chosen landing spot. The landing spot is, as the name would indicate, the point on the ground where you want to land the ball before it runs out to the cup. Most golfers just aim for the hole and swing away when chipping, but that approach rarely works. Instead, you are going to pick a landing spot and then do your best to hit that mark time after time. It will be difficult to settle on a landing spot when first trying this method, but you will get better and better as time goes on.
  • Choose a club. With your landing spot selected, you are next going to pick the club you will use for the chip shot. If you need a lot of run out to span the distance from your landing spot to the hole, you will need to use a relatively low-lofted club. On the other hand, if you are going to attempt to stop the ball quite quickly, you will want to use as much loft as you have available in the bag. It is okay to have a favorite chipping club that you turn to in most circumstances, but you should be comfortable chipping with at least two others to give yourself options. When you do choose your club, there can be no doubts in the back of your mind that you have made the right selection. Commit to the club you are holding and do your best to hit a great shot.
  • Pay attention to the lie. This last point on our list doesn't actually have to be last when you are planning out your chip shot. In fact, in some cases, it will need to be the first thing you do. When you have a poor lie in the rough, you are going to need to look carefully at the lie right away to make sure you can hit the kind of shot you have in mind. The lie dictates everything in golf, so never try to hit a shot that isn't going to be possible due to the lie of the ball. Of course, if you have a clean lie in the fairway, you can pretty much forget about this part of the equation and simply focus on your landing spot and club selection.

You will find it far easier to avoid fat chip shots if you take the time to make a plan before each attempt. Having a plan in mind is going to help to clear your head while focusing you on the task at hand. This might seem like a subtle thing at first, but it will quickly become clear just how helpful it can be to know exactly what you are trying to do with the golf ball. Not only will your chipping performance benefit from this clarity, but your full swing should be better for it as well.

Getting Back on Track

Getting Back on Track

One of the hardest things to do as a golfer is to fix errors in the middle of a round. When things suddenly start to go wrong, it can be hard to right the ship before too much damage has been done to your scorecard. This story is certainly true when talking about fat chip shots. One frequently leads to another, and then maybe a thin one as a result of overcorrecting. To improve your short game over the long run, you need to know how to recover in the middle of a round.

When you hit a fat chip shot during a round, the first thing you should do is stop and assess the situation. What happened? Why did you hit the shot fat? Rather than getting angry and losing your temper, look at the situation objectively and try to find a solution. Locating the root cause of the mistake is the best way to make sure it doesn't happen again.

In addition to thinking about the problem objectively, you also need to clear your head before your next chip. It is easy to think you are going to hit one chip shot fat just because that is what happened on the previous attempt. History does not need to repeat itself, however, as long as you take a moment to clear your head and refocus. Instead of thinking about the fat chip shot, think about your technique and your landing spot. With enough mental strength, you can block out the negative thoughts and execute a great shot.

There are few things in golf quite as frustrating as a fat chip shot. Hitting the ball fat is embarrassing, it is a waste of at least one stroke, and it certainly doesn't do anything to add to the fun of a round. By using the advice above – along with plenty of practice – you can take a big step in the right direction with regard to avoiding fat chip shots. Of course, avoiding fat shots is not the only skill you need to have around the greens, so be sure to keep expanding and improving your short game play one shot at a time. The players who hit long drives may get a lot of attention, but it is those with short game skills who rise to the top of the leaderboard. Good luck!