Here are the prior lessons of this series for reference:
- Part 1: How to strike the ball more consistently and break 90 every time
- Part 2: Keep your head steady, not down
- Part 3: Can you fix my slice?
In this bonus lesson, you will get a sneak peak into my premium training course, Break 90 in 90 Days. I will be sharing some details about the course via email in a few days, so make sure to check your inbox! The video below is from Week 3 of the course where we learn everything you need to know about the short game.
We have covered the flat left wrist and the steady center, which are paramount to all parts of our game, but they don't tell us how to hit golf shots. They don't tell us how to hit a chip shot or bunker shot.
Starting with the basic chip shot in this lesson, we are going to explore how these critical skills of golf start to tie into our games.
A chip shot is by far the simplest short game shot that you can hit around the greens. It can be hit with any high lofted club, and the goal with the chip shot is to get the ball on the ground as quick as possible. Depending on the conditions of the shot, some chip shots will have some spin while others will not (we will talk about this later). The chip shot can be used off of a tight lie on the fairway or fringe, or even in most types and lengths of rough.
The chip shot is one of few shots around the green that you will be setting up the same to every single time. If you can master the chipping setup, you have mastered a shot that can be used for 80% of your short game shots. In other words, it is a high leverage type of shot to learn!
Here is the basic setup:
- Feet close together (almost touching)
- Feet completely open, and hips slightly open
- Shoulders square to target
- Ball off the back ankle
- At least 60% of your weight on the front foot throughout the shot
Now, take a look at the pictures below to get a sense of the motion we are using.
Once you have the setup listed above, the only things you should be focusing on are your weight distribution and your flat left wrist. Keep your weight forward throughout the entire shot to ensure the low point (steady center) is maintained, and keep that flat left wrist through impact to ensure that you make proper contact.
If you setup perfectly and ignore these two rules, you will not hit your chip shots crisp!
There are a few situations where the normal chip setup and shot can get tricky.
Sometimes, you may have a chip shot that is into the grain of the grass (especially on bermuda grass). Since the chip shot requires you to put the ball back in your stance and hit with a square club face, this means that the bounce of the club is not exposed, and the club will want to dig into the ground. That is okay! Don't worry about taking a pretty large divot in these situations and realize that it has nothing to do with your technique and everything to do with what this shot was designed to do! If you are worried about chunking the ball still, choke up on the grip a little bit and swing normal. This gives you a bit more control and will allow you to dig a little bit less!
This is a tricky scenario, because all rough is different.
- If the rough is light and thin, just hit your chip shot normally.
- If the rough is a bit thicker, my suggestion is to hit your chip shot with the wedge that has the highest bounce in your bag (usually the 56 degree wedge).
- If the rough is thick or has a lot of moisture in it, you may have to hit a full pitch shot. Another option is to open the clubface 45 degrees and hit your chip with a little more speed. Be sure to keep your left hand (for a right handed golfer) firm during this shot to ensure that club face stays open through impact and you don't get that low runner that skips off the green!
You have made it to the end of the free training. If you enjoyed this, I think you would really like my Break 90 in 90 Days video course. It has everything I know about golf packed into a 90 day training course. It is great for analytical golfers looking to gain a better understanding of the golf swing and how to break 90 consistently.