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The art of the chip: Master one of golf's most important shots

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor
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Learning to chip well will help lead a golfer to a lot more tap-in putts. (.)

We all miss greens and when we do we've got to have the confidence that we can get the ball up and down to save par. A chip stroke is a stroke is like a putt but with a lofted club that has no cocking of the target side wrist. If you can safely land the ball on the green without using a cocked wrist then you are chipping.

The short game, chipping, pitching, putting amount to over 70 percent of all shots

All great chippers of the ball have several characteristics in common:

• They change clubs for different length chip shots - just like you would for different length shots from the fairway.

• The weight is favoring the target side foot - this helps to create a steeper angle of attack into the ball and eliminate those "fat" shots.

• The ball is positioned back of center to ensure a descending blow and proper ball turf contact.

• The ball is struck with a descending blow - Never try and help the ball into the air!

• The clubface does not open or close during the stroke - it "looks" at the ball during the stroke.

• The hands remain passive during the stroke, no flipping of the wrist - a kind of "dead hands" feel.

• At the finish the target side arm and clubshaft should remain in one line - not two!

Remember, a chip has maximum airtime and minimum ground time. We need to get the ball onto the green and rolling like a putt as soon as possible.

While there are variations of this procedure the above is an absolute to control your chip shots. The better your chipping gets then the better your pitching will get. The better your pitching gets the better your ball striking will get.

Learn to control these short shots and you will soon be in control of your game!

Chuck Evans, G.S.E.D., a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is one of only 31 golf instructors worldwide designated to hold a doctorate in golf stroke engineering. He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and as director of instruction for the United States Golf Institute. He is also the author of "How To Build Your Golf Swing."

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • big typo error

    Gary wrote on: May 30, 2007

    Remember, a chip has maximum airtime and minimum ground time. We need to get the ball onto the green and rolling like a putt as soon as possible.
    This must be a typo error. If you want the ball rolling like a putt ASAP isn't it minimum airtime and maximum ground time?


      • Typo

        Nick wrote on: Apr 27, 2013

        Nice article about chipping and pitching, but to beginners the typo Gary mentioned could be confusing


      • RE: big typo error

        tom sheare wrote on: Sep 5, 2009

        not if you can manage to land the ball next to the hole.