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Lower Your Golf Scores: Chipping To The Green
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Lower Your Golf Scores: Chipping to the Green

A dependable chipping game is essential for the game of golf. When greenside and you cannot use your putter, you will be faced with an assortment of shots that require high or low shots with precision. Here are a few tips to help you get close to the hole with confidence, control and accuracy.

Set up

During the address, you want to keep your hands just ahead of the ball. If you have them behind the ball or even level with the ball, you are risking poor contact and thinning the ball over the green. Placing your hands at the correct position is therefore vital to ensure a descending blow into the back of the ball. Check the position of your hands in a mirror to ensure that you have this right.

Stand with your shoulders, hips and feet slightly open to your target, but do not over do this. The idea is to create more room to swing your hands and arms freely towards the target. In a chip shot, play the ball at the middle of your feet or towards your back foot if playing a low chip and run shot. You should bend your knees slightly before playing the shot and place more of your weight toward the front foot to encourage a descending blow, say 60%.

Executing the chip shot

Always aim to land the ball on the green as soon as possible as it is much easier to estimate the run of the ball as opposed to the flight of the ball. For a controlled shot swing you hands and arms confidently. Think pendulum and just let the clubhead lift the ball gently on to the putting surface.

Keep a light grip so that you can feel the shot. There is no need to hinge your wrists, as the clubhead will do the work. Do not flick at the ball with your hands, as it will lead to a miss-hit shot without control.

Your grip position is a great way to control your shot as well. If you are in close range, moving your grip down slightly will help you keep the distance of your shot under control. Always pick a spot on the green where you want the ball to land allowing for the speed of the green and run to the hole.

As you are so close to the green you will require a short backswing, sometimes no more than a putting motion depending on distance to the hole. The follow-through should be longer than the backswing to avoid quitting on the shot, which will result in a miss-hit. Think one-third back and two-thirds through. Imagine throwing a ball underarm to where you want it to land to get your feel for the shot.

Keep your left wrist flat during the impact to keep your shot steady and to avoid overshooting the target area. Practice this skill to get the feel so that you can do it easily on the course.

Which golf club to use

Top golfers use all manner of different clubs for chipping on to the green, from a sand wedge to a three wood depending on the type of chip shot they want to play. I recommend that you choose just one club to use around the greens probably a pitching wedge or nine iron. In other words, become a one-club wonder. This way you will develop feel for the club and for the shot and have more chance of achieving consistency. A more skilled player may choose a straighter faced club for some shots.

Chipping is all about confidence

With all of these tips, make sure that the swing feels natural to you. If you feel like you are forcing it, you may need to adjust certain aspects of the swing to make it feel comfortable to you. The more confident you feel in the approach, the better your shot will be.

One of the most important steps to perfecting your chipping is to practice. Mastering the chip shot will go a long way towards helping you to reduce your handicap. You can practice your stance and swing at home or on the range to perfect the techniques involved. Your goal is to get as close as possible to the hole every time, so that you only require one putt to finish off.

Chipping to the green and pitching to the green are the building blocks of an accurate short game. With a great chipping game, you will see a vast improvement in your golf game and your scores.


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