How to Hit Successful Chip Shots

A solid short game can save you countless shots throughout a round.  Many people often try the most difficult shot, such as a flop shot when they could perform a simple chip shot from the same location.  Attempting a flop shot is one of the trickiest shots in golf.  While it looks amazing when you pull it off it has a relatively low success rate.  A good rule to follow can be found in an expression that has been around golf forever.  If you can putt the ball, putt it.  If you can’t putt it, chip it and if you can’t chip it, pitch it.  Therefore, a chip should be a second choice while the flop shot should really be the last resort because you can not hit any other shots.

A chip shot is generally close to the green and requires a shorter swing where your wrists will not hinge.  Now that you understand the set up and swing of a chip shot, lets examine how to properly execute the shot.  Probably the most important key is to think about where you want the ball to land.  Practice the shot with different clubs, and become familiar with where the shot will land and how far the ball will roll.  With the proper fundamentals a chip shot will react the same way every time it lands on the green.

Knowing how the ball will react once it lands on the green is imperative to hitting successful chip shots.

Take advantage of different clubs in your bag, for example 7 iron through lob wedge.  As a general rule, plan on a 7 iron traveling approximately 25% of the way in the air and the remaining 75% rolling towards the hole.  A pitching wedge will travel approximately 50% in the air and roll the remaining 50% toward the hole.  A sand wedge will fly approximately 75% towards the hole and roll the remaining 25% on the ground.  Remember, the lower the number on the club, the more the ball will roll.  Your arms and shoulders will produce a similar swing with all clubs while altering club selection to determine the distance.

Matt Keller, PGA



FEATURED AUTHOR: Matt Keller is a PGA Golf Professional with over 15 years of experience. Throughout his career he has worked at courses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida and Delaware. Matt has conducted thousands of golf lessons to players of all ages and ability levels. Currently, he is a PGA Professional at Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club located near Bethany Beach, DE

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