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Here’s a basic checklist for how to hit crisper chip shots

November 11, 2019

Like it is for your full swing, a solid setup is critical to pulling off consistent chip shots, along with a basic understanding of how the ball gets into the air on short swings. I recommend the following: Grip down slightly on the handle, narrow your stance so your feet are about one clubhead-width apart and make sure your weight and sternum are tilted slightly toward the target.

If you follow these stance cues, you’ll notice that your arms and shoulders form a triangle shape (above). When you swing, your goal is to simply maintain this shape from start to finish.

Problems start when you try to “lift” the ball into the air, which can make contact inconsistent. This ruins your triangle while negating the performance benefits built into your wedges. The result? Chunks, skulls and short-game misery.

The best thing to do is to hit chips like you stroke putts. Swing the club relatively shallow across the grass both back and through, keeping it low to the ground the whole way.

Some of my students find it helpful to focus on the grass on the target side of the ball. When you chip like you putt and maintain the triangle formed by your arms and shoulders at address, you’ll see blades pop up—a clean hit.

It’s somewhat counterintuitive, but if the clubhead stays low, the ball will launch high. It’s simply a matter of how wedges are designed.

Set up properly. Maintain your triangle. Brush the grass in front of the ball. Get these right and you won’t just chip it close, you just may chip it in.