How to Chip in Golf

Learning how to chip in golf effectively remains one of the most important methods to lowering scores.

By developing a smooth chipping stroke that works regardless of the situation, whether sitting in thicker rough or just off the green, you can save more pars and potentially make a birdie here and there.

In this guide, I’ll work you through the steps to help you build the correct setup to produce a chipping motion that will enable you to reach your golfing goals.

How to Chip in Golf

Open the Club Face

One of the best tips for chipping well is by opening the face slightly at address. The open face helps you utilize the club’s bounce by giving you more room to use a descending blow with your pitching wedge to prevent hitting the ball thin.

Ball Position Dictates Results

All three positions deliver a different type of result:

  1. Front position produces more spin
  2. Center position creates bounce and spin to check up
  3. Rear ball position gives you low spin chip shots that release to the hole

Feet Close Together

Chipping the ball demands a quiet upper body with a tight, compact swing. The same holds true for your feet. Rather than keeping them apart, as you would when you swing a 5-iron, instead keep your feet close together like you would when putting.

If you play the ball center, your weight will move to the lead foot, and your right shoulder will up and level with the left shoulder rather than dip down to help the shot into the air.

Shoulders Stay Level

The left shoulder and right shoulder stay level during the chipping motion. Moving either shoulder too high or too low can decrease the odds of making solid contact.

Working to keep the swing compact with a limited backswing and follow through assures you are moving cleanly through impact with little chance of hitting the shot off-center on the face.

Hands Ahead of Ball

Most golfers make mistakes by flipping the wrists through the golf ball and getting the head in front of the hands. At impact, you want your hands slightly ahead of the impact point so you can better control the flight and distance of the shot.

At address, you can move your hands toward your lead hip to produce the lean you want to experience at impact.

Hinge the Wrists

If you are using a wedge and want to lift the chip shot, you’ll need to hinge your wrists in the backswing. If you are a right-handed golfer, the right wrist will hinge to bring the club back to your desired height.

Remember, the lead wrist should stay relatively flat during the takeaway so you can descend the face into the chip shot.

You’ll still need to finish smoothly with your hands in front of the ball and your right shoulder, helping the club through the impact zone.

Hit the Ball First

You want to make contact with the ball first by getting that leading edge between the outer layer and the ground.

By making clean contact with your hands slightly forward on the target side of your stance, the face can produce the spin necessary to either stop cold on the putting surface or check up and release to the club.

Finish Low When You Want the Ball Low

On the follow through, your club head should mimic the ball’s flight. For example, if you want the ball to stay low and release to the cup, keep your hands forward on your left side and low to the target.

If you want the ball to raise into the air, then your hands should allow the club head to finish at waist high. If you want to hit the shot high, you’ll need to rotate your body through impact with your sternum facing the target.

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Accelerate Through the Ball Drill

Too many golfers slow the club head down as it moves toward the impact point rather than accelerating through impact when chipping. Usually, this occurs when the upper body takes the club way too far back, forcing the golfer to slow the club head down on a shorter chip shot.

Next time you are at the driving range, take a bucket of golf balls, a lower-lofted club, such as a 7-iron, and reduce the size of your backswing with an emphasis on moving the club head through the ball with acceleration.

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Bump and Run Drill

The bump and run drill is one of the best drills for understanding how different clubs produce distance control. Take a 7-iron, gap wedge, and lob wedge to the practice green and chip the ball with each club.

Work on your distance control with these chipping clubs by making proper contact with the golf ball and seeing how the loft of each wedge creates varying spin rates.

The basic idea is how the clubs produce the same distance but in different ways. Even with shorter chips, the clubs give you options for hitting short game shots.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you set up chipping in golf?

To be a great chipper, you should set your body up with your shoulders level, your feet slightly open, and the ball in one of three positions; with the ball center of stance, ball forward and directly under the front armpit, or ball position in the back of the stance, under the rear armpit.

As you address the ball, your hands should be forward with a slight amount of shaft lean. With your hands slightly ahead of the ball with weight on the inner part of the left side foot.

If you are playing a low-lofted iron, your takeaway will be low and along the ground. With a lob wedge, the takeaway utilizes hinged wrists to produce the steep angle needed to get the club’s leading edge under the golf ball to create spin.

What should you chip with in golf?

Experienced golfers chip with a variety of clubs dependent upon the situation they face on the golf course. With deeper rough, a low handicapper could use a sand wedge with the hinge and hold method to create lift and generate spin.

For high handicappers, chipping with a lower lofted iron, such as a 7-iron, allows the golfer to use a putting stroke with a forward shaft lean when chipping.

Minimizing the movement typically associated with chipping allows you to find more consistent contact and maintain the target line more efficiently.

Final Thoughts

Every golfer has a unique chipping setup, but the process and results all strive for the same results.

If you are having a tough time finding short game consistency with your chipping technique, remember to be patient and put in the work building your basic technique and fundamental approach.

Putting the drills in this article to use on the driving range can shorten the learning curve and help you when you work on making solid contact more consistently.