How to Chip in Golf-Easy and Effective way

Many new golfers want to know how to chip in golf because it’s impressive and has many advantages over a straight shot. Better known by pros as the “chip shot,” this is a short-range shot where the ball flies through the air to get over obstacles. Most of all, it just looks great when that ball pops up from the field.

A chip shot is easier than some other shots, but it does take practice to make it perfect. Aside from learning the form and proper way to make a chip shot, you will also learn when to use a chip and what distinguishes a chip from a pitch (another type of shot where the golf ball flies into the air).

Content:

⇒How to Chip Shot
1. Setting the Position
2. Body Position
3. The Swing
4. During the Impact
5. Keep the Wrists Hinged
⇒Difference Between Chip and Pitch Shots
1. The Similarities
2. Chip Shot
3. Pitch Shot
⇒Chip Shot Uses
1. Rough Near the Hole
2. Small Hills and Elevations
3. Other Small Obstacles
⇒Choosing the Right Club
1. The 6-8-10 Formula
2. The 6-Iron
3. The 8-Iron
4. The Pitching Wedge
5. Club Alterations
⇒Chip Shot Tips
1. Forward Stepping Position
2. Balanced Stroke
3. Try a Lower Grip

How to Chip Shot


1. Setting the Position

Positioning is important with any shot, but it’s especially important when making a chip shot. You cannot carry the ball at all as this is against the rules (and will result in a penalty), so you must make sure that your stroke is able to lift the ball.

The best way to do this is to properly position your club. Normally you would position the club so that it hits the ball a little after the lowest point. This allows you to hit the ball as the arc comes back up, which gives you optimal distance and power. However, that’s not what you’re doing here.

Instead, position your club so that the lowest point is right at the ball or slightly after it. This will ensure that a lot of the power goes into the turf itself, which is a good thing here. Most chips fail due to improper positioning, so be sure to get this right.

2. Body Position

A proper chip shot needs the right body position. A small warning beforehand: this is going to feel weird. Your shoulders won’t be level and you need to bend a little to get the right amount of power behind your shot. While it’s going to feel strange the first few times, you will adjust.

The ball should be played center and move your weight forward. This will put your left shoulder over the left foot. Move your torso forward instead of the hips. When gripping the club, keep your right arm straight so that your right shoulder is high. Most newer players have their left shoulder high, which results in a poor chip shot (switch the sides if you are a left-handed player).

You will be bent a little awkwardly, but it shouldn’t hurt. If you can’t bend this much, then just bend as much as you can comfortably.

3. The Swing

Now that your body and club are in the right position you’ll have to get the swing just right to pop the ball into the air. When going for the backswing you want to fold your right arm and then hinge your left wrist. This movement will swing the club upward and create the perfect arc for a chip shot.

When going for the backswing, don’t allow your right shoulder to go up at all. If you must move it, then have your shoulder move to the inside.

During the downswing you should allow your right arm to unfold while keeping your elbow near your side. This will give you optimal power behind the stroke and will lift the ball up for an amazing chip shot. While you will hit the turf a little, this is not your target, so don’t accidentally slam the club into the ground as this can hurt your arms and damage the club.

4. During the Impact

There’s a lot going on during the impact, so we’re going to detail that as well. Solid contact with the ball is vital, so many experts believe it’s best to look down at the ball as you hit it. Most golfers will naturally look up, but don’t do this. Watch the ball until after your club as hit it.

Most chip shots will result in some turf coming up. That’s OK and ideal, it means you put as much power as possible behind the ball.

If you feel like you don’t have enough strength in your hit, remember to move your chest. Some golfers forget this, and they remain rigid. Allow your chest to follow the arc during the downswing. Keep your chest moving towards your target even after hitting the golf ball.

5. Keep the Wrists Hinged

Another area where people have issues during impact is the wrists. Most golfers will want to move their wrists more during impact, but that’s not how to chip in golf. The wrists should be hinged slightly, but that’s it. They shouldn’t move at all before or after impact. Excessive movement is one of the main reasons that chips fail.

Difference Between Chip and Pitch Shots


1. The Similarities

Many new golfers get chip and pitch shots confused because they are similar in some ways. Both shots involve the ball going up into the air and covering a distance. They both work for getting around obstacles and work wonders if used strategically.

The main difference is in how the shots are used and what distance they cover.

2. Chip Shot

A chip shot is used to only cover a very short distance. Normally you would only use a chip shot if you were a few yards from the green and you want the ball to gracefully traverse the surrounding grass. This makes it easier to get onto the green and helps avoid any elevations or obstacles that might otherwise block or impede your shot.

While you can use a chip shot further away from the hole, it wouldn’t make sense from a strategic point of view. Most of the distance travelled comes from after the ball hits the ground and starts rolling. It should only stay in the air for a short amount of time.

3. Pitch Shot

A pitch shot is best used when further away from the hole and often if there are larger obstacles to overcome. You can use this up to 100 yards away from the hole (though most people will be closer, this distance is more for professionals) and it involves the ball going much higher into the air.

Unlike a chip shot where most of the distance comes from rolling after hitting the ground, a pitch shot’s distance primarily comes in the air and only a small amount from rolling. They are opposite in this regard.

Chip Shot Uses


1. Rough Near the Hole

Knowing how to chip in golf is one thing, but you must also know when to use it. You have the ball in the rough and just a few yards by the hole. Since it’s so close to the hole you don’t want the ball to fly too far, but you want to ensure that it can get through the rough and get you close to scoring.

If you’re looking to keep your control, ensure the ball travels most of the distance via rolling and gets you as close as possible to putting position, then a chip shot is the best.

2. Small Hills and Elevations

There’s a small hill or elevation that is in your path. While you could get through it with a hard hit, this will lead the ball to roll much further than you’d like, and it reduces your control. Not only that, but if you don’t hit it hard enough, then the ball will just come back down, and you’ll have wasted a shot.

One of the chip shot benefits is that you can clear the hill or elevation without any loss of control. The ball will fly over the hill and put you in the best position.

3. Other Small Obstacles

If there are any small obstacles in the way that are impeding your path, then a chip shot could be your best bet. You’ll still get the control you need without allowing the obstacle to slow you down. A chip shot is one of the best in your arsenal because you get a good amount of elevation without the ball going crazy.

Choosing the Right Club


1. The 6-8-10 Formula

Technically you can hit a chip shot with any type of club, from your driver to your putter and everything else in between. However, you’re looking for the accurate answer and not the technical one. The most common way that golfers decide which club is right is applying the 6-8-10 formula.

The three most common clubs used for a chip shot is a 6-iron, 8-iron and a pitching wedge (also called a 10-iron). These aren’t the only ones, as you will see later, but they will help the most on flat terrain.

Each club has a different ratio of air and roll time. We will discuss this below so that you understand which is best for your needs.

2. The 6-Iron

The 6-iron gives you the best roll time but the worst air time. About 25% of the distance will be travelled through the air while 75% will be travelled on the ground. If you only have a small elevation to cover in the air, then the 6-iron will be the best.

3. The 8-Iron

The 8-iron gives you a little more height and air time, but less ground travel than the 6-iron. About 33% of the distance will occur in the air and the rest will be travelled on ground. This is better for slightly higher elevations or if you need to go a little further in the air.

4. The Pitching Wedge

The pitching wedge is 50% air time and 50% rolling, giving you a balanced amount of both. While this is good for higher elevations or if you need more distance in the air, it won’t work as well if you really need the most distance during the roll.

5. Club Alterations

If the terrain is uphill or downhill, then your club choice will change. Here is a handy guide to help you choose which club is best in these conditions:

-6-Iron Chip:  If uphill use a 4-iron, if downhill use an 8-iron

-8-Iron Chip: If uphill use a 6-iron, if downhill use a pitching wedge

-10-Iron Chip: If uphill use an 8-iron, if downhill use a lob wedge

This might be a little confusing at first, but it’s easy enough when you try it on the field. You’ll quickly get a sense of which club is needed for which situation.

Chip Shot Tips

If you want to know how to chip in golf but you need just a few more tips, then this will help you get through the rough learning curve until you’re making chip shots like the masters.

1. Forward Stepping Position

Still having a hard time with the position? This will help break it down a little more for you. First, your front foot should have most of your weight. Not by much, but you should place 60% of your weight on the front foot.

Have your shaft leaning lean towards your target, but only a little. Too much can throw off your shot. The hard part is keeping this position while you swing, so try a slow swing to get the movement correct without moving your body around.

This will help you properly hit the ball and ground so that the ball flies into the air. Otherwise you’ll either get poor distance or it won’t lift properly after the stroke.

2. Balanced Stroke

You might think that a chip shot requires more power than other shots, but that’s far from the truth. Like every other golf stroke, it’s all about form over power. If you have the correct form, then you don’t need to hit the ball harder than normal.

Your backswing and downswing must be balanced. Many new golfers who are starting to chip have a big backswing but a poor downswing. Keep them the same distance and have a good tempo that allows you to move properly.

Keep the tempo smooth and you’ll have no problem perfecting your chip shot.

3. Try a Lower Grip

Do you find that it’s hard to control the swing during a chip shot? That’s OK, a lot of golfers do. While a stronger grip might help, most experts say that you should take a lower grip for a chip. A lower grip allows for better control of your stroke while giving you proper form and power.

You shouldn’t go too low, but don’t be afraid of allowing your lower hand to touch the top of the metal. Try this and see if it improves your chip, many experts find that it’s just the thing that gives the ball the proper amount of elevation.

Conclusion

Many golfers want to know how to chip in golf because it looks impressive and it helps you with those difficult shots involving the rough, small elevations or certain obstacles. While a lot goes into the club selection and form, the truth is that a chip shot is easier than other shots, like a draw or fade.

Now it’s time to try this out yourself. Just make sure to get the form right, take it steady and you’ll be chipping like the pros in no time. This is one of the best shots to have in your arsenal, and many golfers find that it improves their overall score and performance.

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