Chipping by Definition
To become skilled at any shot there is an equation that holds true, one that is followed by the best that play the game. There are two parts to this equation. Part 1 is Understanding and Part 2 is Execution. Without understanding consistent execution is impossible. No where is this more evident than around the green. Very often players looking to improve approach a shot form just off the putting surface without truly defining the shot at hand, therefore they truly lack the understanding to consistently execute the shot. As a rule of thumb this shot is a Chip. A Chip Shot by definition is:
Minimum air time Maximum ground time
- A chip shot is low flying shop that rolls farther that it has flown.
- A standard chip shot flies onto the putting surface.
- A chip and run flies short of the putting surface and runs onto it
There are many different techniques that produce this shot. however, some are more efficient than others. One of the most efficient ways to chip is to treat the shot as a “putt with a different club”. This will allow the player to take advantage of a motion that is easy to reproduce because of limited moving parts. Once the technique is understood there is one job at hand, that job is to fly the golf ball to a specific spot and let it roll out from there. For a standard chip that spot should be approximately three feet (one pace) onto the green, regardless of the distance from the green or the hole.
- Ground the club head behind the ball with the club face aimed appropriately.
- Elevate the grip up approximately 4” and then position forward 4”.This action will position the club shaft more upright so that it more closely matches that of the putter. At this point the club head will be resting on its tow. This makes it difficult for the club head to “dig” into the ground through impact. It will lean the shaft slightly forward as well, positioning the grip forward of the club head encouraging a descending angle of attack.
- Establish posture to ball with a fairly narrow stance that is set slightly open and set weight slightly favoring the left foot. The butt end of the club should be pointing just to the left of the body’s center with the ball just behind center in stance.
- The “upright” position of the club shaft will position the grip of the club more in the palm towards the palms. This allows the player the option of using their putting grip. This will encourage minimal wrist action as the shot is executed.
To execute the shot, make a motion similar to the putting stroke. The club should be swung away predominately with a small turning of the shoulders. As the club is swung back through impact, its acceleration should support with rotation of the upper body to the left.
Tip by: Todd Jones, Director of Instruction at PGA TOUR Golf Academy.
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