10 Tips to Chipping a Golf Ball

Date Published: 26/03/2024

Chipping in golf is a crucial skill that can improve your short game and dramatically lower your scores. Mastering how to chip a golf ball with precision and control can turn challenging situations into great opportunities for birdies or easy pars. 

What is Chipping?

Chipping in golf is a finesse shot designed to fly the ball a short distance with minimal air time and maximum ground roll upon landing. This shot is typically used when a golfer is near the green but not close enough to putt. 

The objective of chipping is to loft the ball over uneven ground—such as rough or fringe—allowing it to roll smoothly towards the hole on the green. Mastering the chip shot can significantly lower scores by enabling golfers to more effectively approach the hole from challenging positions. 

Whether you’re just starting or looking to refine your technique, these 10 tips will guide you on how to chip in golf with confidence and consistency.

1. Choose the right club

Selecting the right club is the first step to a successful chip. While many golfers default to a wedge, consider the distance and the type of roll you need. A 7 or 8 iron can be perfect for longer chips where you need the ball to roll more. 

Find out how to correctly hold a golf club in our blog.

2. Adopt a narrow stance

For chipping, a narrow stance helps control the swing and promotes stability. Place your feet closer than you would for a full shot, which helps in making a more upright swing path.

3. Position the ball correctly

Place the ball back in your stance, closer to your back foot. This positioning helps ensure that you hit the ball on a descending blow, which is crucial for a good chip.

4. Lean slightly forward

Shift your weight slightly towards your leading foot (about 60-40 distribution). This forward lean promotes a downward strike on the ball, which is essential for solid contact and control.

5. Keep your hands ahead of the ball

At address, position your hands ahead of the ball. This setup encourages a forward shaft lean, which helps in hitting down on the ball for better loft and spin.

6. Limit your backswing

A common mistake is to take the club back too far. For chipping, you want a controlled, minimal backswing. The length of your backswing should correlate with the distance you want the ball to travel.

7. Lead with your hands

It’s all about the grip. Ensure your hands lead the clubhead at impact. This tip is vital for maintaining the angle between your arm and the club, helping to avoid “scooping” the ball, which can lead to inconsistent chipping.

8. Keep Your lower body stable

Minimise lower body movement to maintain accuracy. Your legs and hips should stay relatively quiet during the chip shot, allowing your arms and shoulders to control the swing.

9. Follow through

Even though the chip shot is a shorter swing, a follow-through is still crucial. It ensures that you’re completing the motion, providing the necessary loft and spin for the ball to land softly on the green.

10. Practice different scenarios

Practising chipping from various lies and distances is essential. Experiment with different clubs and strokes to understand how the ball behaves from the rough, fringe, or tight lies.

Mastering how to chip a golf ball is a game-changer for golfers of all levels. It requires practice, patience, and a strategic approach. 

PGA Professional, Lee Cardy gives his top tips on avoiding that muddy chip shot:

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