You want your on-course chips to be like the ones you munch from a bowl: nice and crisp. Yet you may be asking, “Doesn’t that demand perfect technique and countless hours of practice?” Not anymore. You can hit Tour-quality chips right now with an unorthodox method that automatically eliminates the bulk of common short-game mistakes. It’s a side-saddle technique brought to my attention by PGA professional Patrick Jackson, the director of golf at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. The more I tinkered with it, the better it worked, so much so that I’ve shared it with several of my students. If you struggle from short range, or feel even a little “yippy” with your chipping clubs, give it a shot. It doesn’t just turn heads—it turns bogeys into pars and birdies.
WHY IT WORKS
You Can’t Botch Your Backswing
It’s pretty much impossible. You can’t over-turn (your upper body has already rotated), you can’t commit a weight-shift error (your feet are together), and you can’t whip the club inside (your body is in the way). And since you’re hitting from the side of the ball, it’s difficult to dip or lift your head, so you always catch it crisp.
It’s More Finesse than Force
By hinging your wrists and folding your elbow, the shaft gets more “vertical” in the backswing. This makes the club feel “heavy” at the top, and as though it’s “dropping” in response to gravity on the way down, even though you’re pushing it with your right arm. You have less force and more finesse—just what delicate shots need.
It Rewires a Yippy Brain
Making a radical change like this shakes up the Etch A Sketch of the mind. It’s goodbye to all of those bad habits: the chunks, the skulls, the yippy tendencies. With a clean slate, you can start over—almost instantly building a simple, repeatable motion. It’s a powerful feeling. Trust me: Chipping is about to become fun again.
Top 100 Teacher Joe Hallett (@joehallettgolf) instructs at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. Current students include LPGA Tour player and former world No. 1 Stacy Lewis and World Golf Hall of Fame member Julie Inkster.