To chip well, it all begins with the setup
Everyone has heard the old golf saying: “drive for show, putt for dough.” It’s tough to score well on the golf course if your putting isn’t rock solid. And if you’re not chipping it well, you’re going to have a lot of long putts during your round. Working on chipping can be tedious. But it’s important. And if you, like many golfers, struggle to make solid contact (or do it consistently) when you’re chipping, then it’s time to focus on your fundamentals. Let’s start with your setup, which applies no matter how far or high you need to chip the ball on a given shot:
Keep your feet very close together, with about a club head between your heels. The ball should almost always be positioned either in the middle of your stance, or slightly back. Try to keep a little more pressure on your lead side (the left leg for a right-handed player). Tilt your spine toward the ball, keeping your shoulders relatively level with the ground. (Flexibility drills before the round, even some simple stretching, can help with this.)
Once you have the setup, it’s time to swing.
When hitting a chip shot, most times the swing should not go past your waist. In fact, it’s usually going to be even shorter than that. Make sure the backswing goes back a little more vertical so you can have a descending strike on the ball. After contact, face the target. A good rule of thumb: If your belt buckle isn’t facing the target after you take the chip, you didn’t align properly. The biggest key is making sure you hit ball first and divot or brush of the ground happens in front of the ball.
As always, remember that practice is key. Enjoy your round!
If you would like to train with me, please send an email to MikeS@MiamiLakesGolf.com.