A Golf Guide for Beginners: Chipping

Chipping is one part of the game of golf that can take time to become comfortable with – but it is well worth the effort once you see how much it can help your score. Good chip shots can help you quickly recover from a poor approach shot and get you back into position to save your par. If you find that you are missing a lot of par putts during a given round, the putter might not actually be the problem. If you aren’t chipping the ball close enough to the hole, your putts will be too long to make consistently. Sometimes, the best way to become a better putter is to simply chip the ball closer to the hole.

A number of variables have to come together in order to hit a good chip shot. Following are three elements of chipping that you should pay particular attention to when you are practicing your technique.

  • Read the lie. The lie of the ball in the grass is the most important part of any chip shot. You can only hit shots that the lie will allow you to hit – and trying to do anything else would be a mistake. For example, if your ball is sitting down in some deep grass, it won’t be easy to hit a low chip shot with a lot of spin that stops quickly. Instead, you probably need to loft the ball out of the grass and let it roll out to the target.
  • Use one club. Unless you have hours and hours to practice your chipping technique, you will probably be better off using a single club for all of your chip shots. It is hard to learn how to control the distance of your chips when you use four or five different clubs throughout the round to chip with. Pick one of your wedges and learn how to hit a variety of shots with the same club so you can build confidence and consistency.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Good chipping is all about feel, and that is only gained through time spent practicing. Don’t neglect your chipping when you head to the driving range to hit a bucket of balls. If the golf course you are practicing at has a chipping green, be sure to take advantage and give this area of your game the time and attention that it deserves.