These are the 2 main reasons you duff chip shots (and how to fix them)

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Duffing chips is a problem that plagues many golfers, and there are two main reasons it occurs. This is how you can fix them.

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If you struggle with chipping, it’s first important to note why you have issues. There are a number of ways to screw up a chip shot — thins, chunks, shanks, etc. — but today we are going to focus on one of the most prominent, which is a duff.

A duff, also known as a chili dip, happens when you hit way too far behind your intended impact area and lay the sod over the ball. This often occurs when players are nervous and feeling pressure.

GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jonathan Yarwood posted an excellent video recently on Twitter that gives a simple explanation for the top two reasons players duff the ball, and how they can fix it.

Check out more below.

1. Floating right arm

The first reason many players duff the ball is they allow their right (trail) arm to float away from their body during the backswing. The arm gets disconnected from the body and throws the sequencing off. This makes you rely on more arm movement and less full-body movement to make solid contact.

To fix this, put a headcover or a towel underneath your right armpit and keep it pinned to your body as you go back.

“Just make sure you fold your trail arm,” Yarwood says. “That makes you keep it in sync with your ribs, which is really important.”

2. Buckling left knee

Another reason players duff the ball is they buckle their left (lead) knee when they are in the downswing. This will also throw you out of sequence and jam the club into the turf behind the ball.

The fix for this is simple. As you make a turn through the ball, make an effort to “post up” on your left leg.

“The most important thing on the way through is you post, or straighten, [your left] leg so you keep your body rotating, which moves the load point of your swing forward,” Yarwood says.

If you focus on these two elements when chipping around the greens, you can do away with duffs for good. Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.