Correct Fat Or Thin Chip Shots - Senior Golf Tip 1

A chip shot is a very controlled, low running shot taken from close to the green – usually from green side to approximately 20 yards away. It is one of the most important and most used shots that a golfer will play on the course. Play this shot better with these thoughts.

Most golfers struggle with chip shots due to not striking the golf ball correctly. To strike a chip shot correctly, the golfer needs to hit downwards into the ball and make the ball roll up the face of the golf club and into the air. The common theme is to try to lift the ball into the air which encourages a leaning back and 'scooping' up motion using the wrists. This culminates in the golfer either ‘thinning’ the golf ball or hitting the golf ball ‘fat’. ‘Thinning’ the ball is where the top or middle of the ball is struck with the bottom of the golf club which sends the ball low and fast across the other side of the green. ‘Fatting’ the golf ball is where the ground is hit first before the ball as the golf club bottoms out early on it's way upward into the ball, resulting in the ball not even reaching the green.

To strike the ball downwards correctly in a chip shot, we must control the hands and wrists to stop any upward motion of the golf club. The golden rule here is to not let the club head undertake the hands. The hands should always stay in front of the golf ball at set up, through the ball, and at the finish. This exercise demands the same finish position for every chip shot.

Set up – To control the hands, begin by setting up to hit downwards through the ball. Set up with the body weight approximately 70 percent on the front foot and position the hands forwards, opposite the front knee. This relationship between the hands and ball is important as the hands being set in front of the ball encourages a downward strike through impact into the ground producing a good shot.

Check your finish – When playing the shot, use the shoulders to power the swing in a rocking motion, very much like a putt. Keep the head and the legs still and maintain the position of the hands in front of the club head throughout the whole stroke. At the end of the stroke check the finishing position. The hands should still be in front of the club head.

The finish checkpoint encourages the golf club to strike down solidly into the golf ball and play a crisp chip shot on to the green and close to the hole.