How to Hit a Chip Shot

Learning how to hit a chip shot can really help get your golf score down. For the high handicap golfer, shots around the green can equal half (or more) of your scoring total. A nice green side chip can also reduce (or eliminate) your putting distance.

How To Hit A Chip Shot And Save Stokes

A chip shot is typically called for when your approach misses the green about lands on or near the fringe. Think of the chip shot as the next step past a putt-a low running shot whose target is the hole. Get mentally prepared for your next chip shot with these tips:

  • Shaping your chip. During the chip shot, the ball should spend as little time in the air as possible and most of its time rolling on the green. Pick a landing spot on the green and then read the rest of the shot as you would a putt. Chipping to your chosen spot should result in a putt-like roll to the hole.
  • Club choice. Like most short game shots, the chip is a matter of feel. Practice will give you an idea of what club is most effective. In general, the more green between your ball and the hole, the less lofted your club should be.
  • The set up. To position yourself for a chip shot, narrow your stance slightly and use a more open setup with your feet point 15 or 20-degrees left of perpendicular to the line of the shot. The ball should line up on the inside of your left heel or slightly more centered. Take your normal grip, but choke down on the club by an inch or two.
  • The swing. During a chip, your back swing should be much shorter than normal-rarely will the back swing on a chip go even waist high. Now, accelerate through the ball as normal with a smooth, sweeping stroke. A well-struck chip will jump from the club head, land on the green and roll toward the cup at the speed of a putt made from the same distance.
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