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Number 1 Chipping Tip (Plus a Chipping Drill)

We've covered using different clubs (besides a pitching/sand/lobb wedge) for chipping in past articles, and that in and of itself is a great tip. However, the number one chipping tip in golf is to ensure that your hands lead the club face.

One thing you can do to try and ensure that your hands lead your swing when chipping is to position the ball pretty far back in your stance. I've even seen some golfers position the ball behind their back foot. It is literally impossible to swing the club with the ball positioned this far back in your stance without having your hands lead the way. This will also promote a "descending blow" when you make contact with the golf ball. It is the angle of the clubface in combination with a downward stroke when you make contact that lofts the ball.

Another thing you can do is start off with more of your weight distributed to the front side of your body. For normal tee and iron shots, your weight shifts back, and then forward as you take your downswing and follow through. However when chipping, your swing is less exaggerated, and some golfers get stuck with their weight on their back side and never shift forward. Starting off with more weight on your front side may help promote proper weight distribution and follow through as you make contact with the ball.

Again, the most important rule when chipping and pitching in golf is to ensure your hands lead the clubface through impact with the ball. Do not bend or break your wrists. This will stop your swing and let your clubface catch up with your hands. Often breaking your wrists as you make contact with the ball is done to create spin, or scoop up the ball. You will get much better, and more importantly much more consistent, if you take a natural swing, keep your hands and wrists locked, and let the angle of the clubface and your swing loft the ball.

One chipping drill to help ensure your hands are leading and your wrists are not breaking is the "long club drill". Take any club when you have some time before you chip and choke up on the club, a lot. I mean hold the club about half way down the shaft. Now take a normal chipping swing. If you feel the handle of the club touch your body, you are breaking your wrists. You are flicking the club through impact causing the handle to swipe your body.

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