Chipping Setup Basics
by, 05-19-2010 at 05:50 PM (20432 Views)
If you find yourself stuck on a scoring plateau in your golf game and struggling to lower your scores-- take a hard look at your chipping. Your shots around the green are what make a mediocre round into a great round. When you are chipping well and feel confident around the greens, not only do you get up in down more often, but it makes a significant impact on your whole game. When you can stand in the fairway and KNOW that you can get it up and down from anywhere, you will be amazed at how good your approaches will get. This kind of confidence loosens you up and allows you to take dead aim.
So to help you achieve that short game confidence, here are a few tips to follow to improve your chipping. We will focus on your set up and cover the actual stroke in my next article.
Weight Left, Handle Left
This is the most important aspect of your chipping setup. To execute consistent and crisp contact, you must strike the ball with a descending angle of attack. Too many golfers try to help the ball up into the air and scoop or lean back through impact. Let the loft of the club do the work for you. To check this in your practice, look to the buttons on your shirt. Try to make sure that the buttons on your shirt are ahead of the ball at address. This means you are leaning slightly forward and it will be easier to hit down and accelerate through impact.
People often make the mistake of playing every short game shot with an open stance. Because we play chips with a square face, make sure you alignment is square. It’s when we open up the face to hit higher pitches and lobs that we need to open our stance. But remember, as long as the face is square, the stance should be too. One last note on your stance at address, keep your base narrow—less than the width of your shoulders.
This is another checkpoint that will allow you to hit down and through your chips instead of scooping. Make sure that you’re ball position is center or slightly back of center. Then look at your hands, they should be ahead of the ball at address. The shaft will tell you if you have achieved proper hand and ball position. It should be leaning towards the target.
Proper club selection is another key to successful chipping. I recommend that you practice your chipping with as many different lofts as possible. Remember, the goal of the chip is to land the ball just on the green and let it roll the rest of the way. Practice with everything from a 6 iron to your wedges. The set up or stroke won’t change, but the club will, depending on the situation. Use the 25% Rule when on the golf course. Your chip shots should fly 25% of the way to the hole and roll 75% of the total distance.