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Chipping

Chipping is used when you are close to the green, have no real obstacles between your ball and the hole, and feel that using a putter will not work as well.

A chip shot flies lower and rolls further than a pitch shot. I use a variety of clubs when chipping: my 50 degree wedge is my favorite chipping club, but for very long rolls, I like a 5 or 6 iron. I also use my pitching and sand wedges to chip. Deciding on the club is influenced by many variables, such as: rough or short grass, length of roll desired, undulations on the green, etc.

Pre-Shot: Start from behind the ball and determine where you want the ball to land and gauge the direction. Pick an intermediate spot in front of the ball that matches the direction you want the ball to travel to get into the hole or in a position you’ve picked. Move to the address position and get a “feel” for the shot by taking some swings that match up with your “clock” position. (see pics below) Agree that the clock position swing is correct for the shot and line up your clubface with the intermediate target. Make a few looks to your target. Trust you’ve taken care of all the things you can control. Make your stroke. No need to peek for at least 2-3 seconds after the ball has been hit.

As discussed in putting, be careful not to “hit with your hands”. This feeling actually accelerates the club makes the ball travel much farther than you may have intended. Just allow your clock swing position to be “free and easy.”   The loft of the club will take care everything else.

  1. Similar stroke as the putting stroke. Distance is key. Grip pressure is a slightly more firm than the putting grip.
  2. Knees “pressed” slightly forward towards the target. (remember your pendulum)
  3. Length of backswing controls the distance the ball will travel.
  4. From behind the ball, looking down the intended target line, choose an intermediate target.
  5. Practice swings for distance and feel.
  6. Step to the ball, align your club to the intermediate target, quick pre-check of all the “controllables.”
  7. Chip with confidence. Hold the follow through until the ball is about halfway to its target.

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