Symptom: Golf chipping is your nemesis. Your golf chipping technique results in duffing or chunking the ball around the green. You wonder how in the world golf ball chipping could be so difficult. After all, a shorter shot should be easier, right? But not for you…
Description: The proper golf chipping technique is this:
- Put the golf ball back in your stance.
- Keep your hands ahead of the golf ball at address.
- Keep your hands ahead of the clubface on the follow through.
- Remember, hands ahead!
Why it Works: By keeping your hands ahead of the golf ball on chips and keeping them ahead of your clubface on the follow through, you are doing many positive things:
- You will naturally hit down on the golf ball, which is essential for crisp contact and good distance control while chipping, especially if you have a bad lie.
- By hitting down on the golf ball, you will be much more likely to hit the golf ball first, which avoids the dreaded chunk (aka duff, chili dip), whereby you hit the ground before the ball.
- By having your hands ahead of the golf ball, you promote an accelerating, positive motion through the ball which will result in better and more consistent shots.
- Finally, and most importantly, by starting with your hands ahead of the ball (and clubface, of course) at address it is easier to keep them ahead of the clubface on the follow through.
Golf Ball Chipping Made Easy
Another positive benefit of this type of chip is that it’s very forgiving. Let’s say you catch the ball cleanly and crisply. The ball will travel a bit farther, but with more spin, and so will stop near your target. Let’s say you hit behind the ball a bit and catch some grass between your ball and the clubface. The ball will not travel as far, but it will have less spin, allowing the ball to roll more. And so you still end up fairly near the target. This type of shot, then, is somewhat self-correcting for operator error. It will absolutely help you get up and down more often. What a nice feature!
Let’s watch Tiger Woods demonstrate this for us. His hands start out well ahead of the ball at address (0:00). Please notice how Tiger’s hands are still well ahead of the ball (and clubface) as he delivers a descending blow (0:14), but most importantly, note how his hands remain ahead of the clubface on the follow through. Have a look:
Very nice, thank you Tiger.
Mind Your Aim
Be sure to keep your clubface aimed properly as you put your hands ahead of the ball. If you’re not careful you will tend to aim the clubface to the right (for a right-handed player). Always aim at a spot right in front of you to make sure your clubface is properly aligned.
The only time this type of chip is not appropriate is if you are trying to play a high flop shot, as would be appropriate when playing over a bunker, or over water, or something. But such situations are relatively rare. Most of the time, you are better off with the “hands ahead” method.
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