What's your go-to chipshot that amateurs can copy?
My goto which I still teach today:
1.Shift your weight forward
2.Keep your hands forward moving through the shot
3.Keep the club moving through the strike (NO DECELL)
This will ensure a descending blow to the ball and ground. Helps avoid the “flipping” of the hands/wrist and the dreaded “skull”.
Most of my students end up getting 1 or 2 hops on the ball and then backspin to help the ball stop. I was taught this 15 years ago and I will keep using it.
Use the bounce!
Use the bounce! Most amateurs fail to utilize the bounce of the club. In the picture above the black alignment aid represents path. The white alignment aid represents face. Swing along the black aid with a face holding true to the white aid. Using this motion allows the player to use the bounce of the club. This technique is a much more forgiving way to chip as the leading edge is taken out of the equation.
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Stand closer than a normal shortgame shot to the ball and lift the heel of the club off the ground.
I believe the majority of my students who come to me with chip shot issues have the wrong approach at setup. I see a lot of amateur golfers who dig the heel into the ground, or thin chip shots due to the heel getting caught in the turf.
I like to have my students stand closer than a normal shortgame shot to the ball and lift the heel of the club off the ground. In a tight lie, it is helpful to stand closer, with the club shaft more vertical. While the heel of the club tends to dig or snag, the toe will glide through the grass much more efficiently, especially when hitting from a lie in green side rough.
Even if you don’t make great contact, the club will still make a more accurate connection with the ball when the toe glides through, because the vertical shaft ensures you won’t dig the heel, which will stop the club from digging.
Give it a try next time you work on your greenside chip shots, and you can have you ball release like a putt when it lands, allowing you to envision a straight back-straight thru, putter-like motion when chipping.
Simulate 'tossing a ball'
My personal opinion is that too many professionals rely on a bump and run – ball back and lean the hands forward. We are not teaching our amateurs to use the bounce of the wedge enough. I try to teach my students to simulate ‘tossing a ball’. Place the ball in the middle of the stance and make sure the right hand keeps going through the ball. Weakening the left hand can help quite a bit with this. It gives the ball a nice height and gives the player some control on the distance.
Trouble on a tight lie? Put the grip in your left pocket
Trouble on a tight lie? Put the grip in your left pocket
A tight fairway lie can be trouble for those that do not know how to trust the bounce. In years past most have been taught to push their hands forward and keep them there throughout the swing. This brings that leading edge into play and also the dreaded chunk shot.
In order to engage that bounce effectively we should get that grip to our left pocket while turning our body. Getting the handle left creates a path that will allow the club face to square as we turn and the sole of the club will slide underneath the golf ball without using our hands.
The best way to start working on this? Chip shots. Start with small shots around the green and gradually work backwards to pitch shots. Remember the more we can control the club face with our body and not our hands, the better the result will be.
My go to chip shot is a low spinner.
My go to chip shot is a low spinner. For this shot I will use any of my three wedges 50,54,58 depending on the distance of the chip and turf conditions. This shot is played with the ball position off your back foot and your weight shifted to your front foot. I like to have about 80% of my weight on my front foot. From this set up I like to have have a little forward shaft lean to decrease loft and focus on making ball first contact. The most important part is to make sure to accelerate through the shot, don’t be afraid to take a small divot.
Making this shot as simple and repeatable as possible
My “go-to” chip shot technique is geared at making this shot as simple and repeatable as possible. The address position is the most common issue I see year in and year out with students.
I like to see both feet relatively close together, with ball favoring the rear of the stance, just about by the rear big toe. The shaft will have a bit of forward shaft lean, but nothing drastic. We won’t look for much of an ‘athletic’ stance whatsoever. By standing relatively upright, which will also force us to stand closer to the ball, the 9 Iron or PW (these are my recommended club choices) will sit upright , whereas only the toe of the club sole will be contacting the ground at address. The heel of the club sole should be off of the ground just a bit. This allows the club to glide easily through the fairway or light rough without increasing power.
With this proper starting position, we simply brush the grass under the ball with a putting type motion, similar to a grandfather clock or a pendulum. We need to land the ball approximately 1/3 of the distance to the flag, as the majority of the distance is spent on the ground. We play undulation and/or elevation change similar to putting.
Note: If your ball is buried, even if it is right next to the green, a ‘chip’ in and of itself is not the correct club choice. We then need a higher lofted club with more of a ‘swing’.
Stronger lofted clubs
I would recommend more Amateurs use stronger lofted clubs than I see most using now and get the ball down on the ground quicker. With the addition of Sand Wedge options over the last 15-20 years too often golfers reach for those Sand Wedges and try to hit more difficult shots then they need. The higher lofted wedges add more variables which lead to a higher margin for error. The same shots can often be played with a 7 iron through PW with a more compact swing with much less margin for error. Get the ball on the ground much quicker and let the green do the work. This can often be seen during the British Open and Ryder Cup events by the European players.
Most people try to copy the Tour players in what they do and since most do not practice they don't know what to do.
Most people try to copy the Tour players in what they do and since most do not practice they don’t know what to do. For example a shot off the green to a tight pin they will try to open the club face and make a Flop swing when in reality if they stood closer with Toe in the ground and heal up and just make a Putter stroke they would Pop the ball up just on the green and run to the hole. Learned that from Mr. Mike Adams in Florida. Hope this helps viewers.
Get the ball on the ground and rolling as soon as possible.
My go to “chip” shot is when I get the ball on the ground and rolling as soon as possible. This requires a loft from a 9 iron to a 58 degree wedge. Depending on how much roll I want to play. Back of stance. Weight forward. Shaft leaning forward. Then use shoulder like a putting stroke to hit the shot.
I like to call this my high percentage or stock chipshot.
I like to call this my high percentage or stock chipshot. It is designed to give the amateur the least amount of possibility that the shot will fail. We start with feet close together and most of your weight on your target foot. I like to use an 8 or 9 iron for this shot. Hands with a forward lean and clubface square to target. Takeaway club with quiet hands hip to hip with a pivot just before impact. This shot we will tend not to hinge the wrists. Your trail foot should turn over just after impact. Similar to throwing a ball to a target. The ball flight will be low with a lot of roll out. The mechanics of the shot have very few moving parts for a high chance of success. Hope this tip helps you shave a few shots off your score!