A step-by-step guide to the perfect setup for can’t-miss chips
Being a good chipper of the golf ball is one of the quickest ways to drop your scores. Not only does it take pressure off of your approach shots, it can also help you to remain calm when you miss the green, since chipping it close can lead a lot of one-putts.
By definition, a chip shot is a short-game stroke where the ball rolls more than it carries. The stroke is directly related to putting, and actually looks a lot like a putting stroke when executed properly.
Because, like putting, the chipping stroke is short, it’s also very low maintenance and forgiving.
The proper setup for chipping will lead to consistent contact and also make distance control simple.
Because, as I mentioned above, a chipping stroke is generally a smaller motion (below the hip on both sides of the stroke), you need to adjust your setup accordingly:
Can’t-miss chipping setup
1. Your hold should be low on the handle. Grip down to bottom of grip.
2. Use a narrow stance: One club-head width apart at your heels.
3. Weight and sternum should be forward relative to the golf ball throughout the entire stroke.
Now that you’re set, here’s how to execute the shot:
-Take a small stroke back and through
-When the club brushes the grass, the ball will go into the air.
-Gripping lower on the handle (all the way to the bottom) makes the lever shorter and delivers less power.
-Narrowing your stance limits your flexibility and makes it more natural to make a smaller back-and-through stroke.
-This smaller setup makes it so much easier to execute a reliable putting-style stroke. The smaller the motion, the less the chance for error.
-You want to start, stay and finish with your weight and upper body leaning toward the target. When you lean toward the target the shaft of the club should also lean slightly forward with you.
-Avoid pushing the handle too far forward, as it can make the leading edge dig too much. I like the see the grip of the club in line with the center of the body leaning forward together.
-When you lean toward the target, allow your lead shoulder to drop a bit closer toward the ground. When your shoulders tilt toward the target, this will help you to brush the grass in the proper location, under and after the ball.
A proper chip has the club bushing down the back of the ball and then hitting the turf and your shoulders are absolutely what produces this proper contact when you set up and lean correctly.
Once you are set up well, if you make a basic putting stroke with a bit more momentum and arm swing and allow the club to brush the grass on the forward motion, you will have the perfect chipping stroke.
Something else to consider: I am also really open-minded to chipping with your putting grip to keep the motions as similar as possible. If you putt left-hand low, you should consider it for chipping too. What works to make you a good putter will also work to make you a good chipper of the golf ball.
Need help unriddling the greens at your home course? Pick up a custom Green Book from 8AM Golf affiliate Golf Logix.
For more golf tips from Kellie Stenzel, click here.