Hit the Perfect Chip

January 9, 2008

The Story is for you if…

• You often hit your chips fat or thin
• Your chips fly too far or too short of your target
• Your chipping impact sounds like a “thud” instead of a “click”

The Solution

You have an easy up-and-down opportunity from light rough, but you blade your ball across the green.

Why did I do that?

You hit up into the ball instead of down and through it. You could have just as easily caught it fat.

How to stop doing it

As with most shots, you can eliminate the majority of your errors if you make sure your setup is correct (turn the page to learn how). The goal of your chipping address position is to situate your body, arms, hands and club to create a descending blow without chunking the clubhead into the ground, or striking the ball with the leading edge of the clubface. Your setup and technique are correct if your impact position looks like this.

Key Move – Clubhead Low

Compare the height of the ball with the height of the clubhead: The ball is high and the clubhead is still very low to the ground. This proves that a downward strike—not an upward flip—gets the ball rolling up the clubface and into the air.


An easy way to create the desired descending blow is to keep your left shoulder down through impact. Don’t raise your left shoulder—keep it low and square to your target line.


You won’t chip well if you flip your hands through impact or bend your wrists. Your left wrist should be as flat as possible. If you have trouble keeping your left wrist from breaking down, try using your putting grip.


Although your hands should be passive and your left wrist straight, they do need to rotate so that the club turns over on its heel through impact. Try to smoothly rotate the toe of the cub toward your target (don’t jerk it) as you swing through the impact area.


At address, distribute the majority of your weight over your left foot and, more importantly, keep it there throughout your stroke. If you hang back on your right side, you’ll swing up into impact—and that’s the problem that got you here in the first place.

Set up for Solid Chips

Get the toe of the club up and the handle forward for a solid, consistent chipping stroke

Step 1

Square the leading edge to your target line, then raise the clubhead slightly on its toe. This gives you a more upright lie, which makes your chipping stroke more of a putting stroke. This stroke is easier to control because it allows for a straight-back-and-through swinging motion.

Step 2

Move the handle of your club two inches farther toward the target than the front edge of the ball. This de-lofts the clubhead and promotes the downward strike that you’re looking for. You can use any wedge with this technique, and even your 8-or 9-iron will work.

Step 3

The butt of your club should point a couple of inches left of the center of your body. Make sure that your shoulders are square to the target line and your weight is over your left foot, and then play the ball off your right big toe.

Step 4

Move the club with your arms and shoulders while keeping your hands and wrists quiet and your weight on your left side. As you swing through the hitting zone, you should feel as though you’re striking down on the ball while gently closing the clubface.