Chipping Tips: Focus on Your Short Game to Cut Strokes Off Your Score

It’s probably the last aspect of the game most people think of when trying to improve their golf scores. Everyone wants to drive the ball farther. And it’s easy to save strokes by putting the ball better. Even approach shots get more attention. But chipping? Yes, chipping is often forgotten, possibly reserved for two range balls out of a bucket of 100. But when you come up short of the green or overshoot the back of the green, wouldn’t you rather have a one-footer to save par than an eight-footer? Not only does that save strokes, but it also relieves some stress from your day at the course. Follow these helpful chipping tips to improve your game and your scorecard:

– Make your top goal for chipping to have solid contact with the ball.
– Keep your feet relatively close together, but make sure you’re comfortable with your balance.
– Increase your club speed through the ball and finish low.
– Loosen up and don’t let your body pull the club through. Get the club swinging and your body will naturally follow.
– Strive to hit the ball first then the ground, as you don’t want the club to dig at the impact point
– Remember it’s more of a sweeping brushstroke than a chopping motion.
– As with all golf shots, keep your head still.
– Keep your wrists still through impact to avoid scooping the ball.

Despite all of these tips, one of the most important things to remember when you’re approaching a chip shot is don’t think too much. Find a chipping style that works for you and attack the golf ball using that same mindset on every chip shot. There are a million tips out there and if you try to follow all of them that means there are a million things that can go wrong. Find a few techniques that work for you, hit the practice area and go for it.

Chipping is typically a confidence thing. Once you get in the groove of hitting good chips, you feel like you’re going to drain every chip. Once you lose your confidence, you start sweating as soon as you see your approach shot isn’t on the green. Make a mental note not to sweat your chipping game. Take some extra time to practice these basic chipping rules and you’ll be tapping in one-foot putts all day long.

(posted 6/24/14)

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