Top 5 Best Chipping Tips and Drills to Instantly Lower Your Score

 
Every golfer knows the key to shooting lower scores is getting the ball in the hole quicker from 100 yards and in. This is the area where more than 60% of your shots come from and sadly for most players, it’s where they struggle the most. Even the best players in the world miss between four and seven greens in regulation per round meaning they must rely on their short game to get them out of trouble. If you find yourself throwing away precious strokes from around the green, we’ve compiled our Top Five Chipping Tips to help you lower your scores and have more fun – plus a bonus tip at the end.
 
Chipping Tips
 

Understanding Chipping Basics

The phrase “up and down” means one chip and one putt. Getting the ball up and down or chipping it in should be your goal every time you miss a green. In order to do this consistently, it’s important to have a grasp of the fundamentals that ensure proper contact on every time.
 

Setup

To set up for any basic chip shot, start with your feet close together and your stance a little open (aiming to the left of the target for right-handed players). Ball position should be in the middle or slightly back (toward your right foot if you’re right-handed) in your stance. When you set the club the behind the ball your hands should be leaning slightly forward, and the shaft should be pointed toward your target-side pocket (left pocket for right-handers). Lastly your weight distribution should be dispersed with 60% of your weight on your front foot.
 

Chipping Motion

If you watch the best players in the world, you’ll notice that their left arm (right-handed players) and the shaft of the club form a straight line at address. The key to making solid contact is maintaining this relationship throughout the entire swing. The tendency for amateurs is to scoop or try to help the ball in the air. When this happens, the relationship between the shaft and lead arm is lost as the lead wrist bows through impact. This tendency leads to fat and thin shots and trouble controlling distance.
 

Club Selection

Anytime you hit a chip shot, your goal should be to get the ball on the green and rolling like a putt as soon as possible. Most weekend players grab their lob wedge for any chip shot they have. While this might be the right club for a shot the needs to be hit high and stop quickly, it certainly isn’t for a shot where you have plenty of room to run the ball.

As a rule of thumb, the more green you have to work with, the less loft you should use (seven, eight or nine-iron) and the less green between you and the hole more loft you should use (pitching wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge).
 

Tip #1 – Have Fun

Chipping
 
There is no other facet of the game that allows for creativity and experimentation like the short game. While there are some fundamentals that are universal, if you want to take your chipping to the next level, spend some time learning to hit different shots with different clubs. If you do this kind of practice enough, you’ll quickly find that your touch improves, and you’ll have an arsenal of shots for just about any situation. Even though you might look silly at first, your golf game will thank you down the road. So, the next time you want to go hit a large bucket on your lunch break, grab a couple of wedges and a few balls and have some fun chipping around the practice green instead.
 

Tip #2 – Spice Things Up

One of the things that makes chipping fun is that you can changes things up and keep your routine fresh. Unlike blasting seven-irons and drivers at the same target repeatedly on the range, chipping allows you to create different situations like you’ll encounter on the course.

If you go to the practice green at any golf course, you’re bound to see someone out practicing with a shag bag of 100 balls hitting the same chip shot repeatedly. What these players fail to realize is that while they will quickly better at a particular chip, the odds of seeing that same exact shot on the course are low. Make sure when you practice your chipping that you regularly switch targets and clubs to emulate the real thing as much as possible.
 

Tip #3 – Smooth Landing

Chipping
 
If you were to ask any Tour Pro where they are trying to land a chip shot, they will point to a specific spot on the green. Most amateurs on the other hand simply see the green and the pin in front of them and try to hit it close. Landing the ball in a chosen spot not only improves your distance control but allows you to focus on how the ball reacts when it hits the green.

The hula hoop drill is a great way to practice this. All you need to do is find a circular object about three feet in diameter and place it a few feet on to the green. We recommend taking ten balls and seeing how many you can get to land in the circle from various lies. When you can consistently make five or six out of ten, move to more difficult lies and longer shots.
 

Tip #4 – Be On Time

World renown teacher David Leadbetter developed the clockface method for chipping and pitching and to this day it is used by players all over the world. This system takes some practice to perfect but proves genius for controlling your distance.

If you imagine the golf swing as a circular clockface, half-way back and half-way through would be swinging three-o’clock to nine-o’clock. If you want to dial in your yardages with different pitching and chipping clubs, having a playbook of built-in swing lengths and yardages with different clubs is a must.

The first place to start this drill is with your favorite chipping club, probably your sand or lob wedge. To begin, hit a few shots with a half swing. Measure the yardage you hit these shots to establish a baseline. From here, envision the clock face and make some bigger and smaller swings to take note of the yardages the ball travels.

If you put in the time to do this with a few different clubs and practice out of different lies and conditions, you’re sure to start knocking the ball close to hole and saving strokes.
 

Tip #5 – Two’s Company and Three’s a Crowd

Chipping
 
Chances are you enjoy competing with your buddies or regular group on some level. Practicing with a partner or two and making it competitive makes everyone better. Whether you play for pride or a beer at the end, perfecting your short game in a competitive way will lower your scores quickly.
 

1. Seven-Up

This is one of our favorite games to playgri with each other and we have all lowered our scores because of it. If you have a buddy or two and a space to chip and putt seven-up is sure to improve your short game as well.

Format:

Each player begins with two balls. You can flip a tee or coin to see who goes first. Player A hits a shot then player B (and/or C, D, etc.) hits a shot. The cycle repeats again until each player hits both their balls.

The player with the ball closest to the hole gets one point and the player with the ball farthest away loses a point.

If a player chips in he gets two points. If someone misses the green, they lose two points.

The player who wins the closest to the hole point chooses the next location.

If you get to seven points you win and if you reach negative seven points you lose.

Seven-up is a great game that can take a while and allows for creativity and strategy.
 

2. Par 18

As we said earlier, getting up and down is the quickest way to lower your scores. Par 18 is a game you can play with yourself or against your buddies.

Format:

Simply put, you choose nine holes to chip and putt to. “Par” is set at two shots for each hole and the player with lowest score is the winner.
 

3. Extra Credit – High-Rise Living

Chipping Tips
 
Have you ever seen Tiger of Phil take a full swing and launch the ball straight up in the air only to watch it go 30 feet and stop inches from the hole? Yep, we are talking about the flop shot. This is a shot that takes a tremendous amount of practice but can get you out of the stickiest of situations.

The flop shot should only be used when you have minimal green to work with and need to stop the ball quickly.

To set up, open the club face so that it lays almost flat at address and open your stance accordingly (feet, hips and shoulders aim left of target if you’re right-handed).

From here, make an aggressive swing sliding the club under the ball and watch it fly high and land like a butterfly with sore feet.

Format:

Simply put, you choose nine holes to chip and putt to. “Par” is set at two shots for each hole and the player with lowest score is the winner.
 

Conclusion

The fact is you’re going to miss the green with your approach shot on occasion. How you recover from here is what makes or breaks your score. While there is a time and place for hitting balls and working on technical thoughts on the range, refining your short game and trusting your instincts is the easiest way to lower your scores. If you want to save money on a large bucket and are willing to be creative and experiment, learning to turn chipping and pitching clubs into weapons instead of liabilities will find you having more fun and taking money from your buddies in no time.

 

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