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Chipping technique

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

So I have a big problem in my game and I think it is the reason my handicap is not improving as much as I'd like, even though my full swing ball-striking has improved quite a bit... I am terrible at chipping (and also putting and pitching, pretty much the entire short game... but that is for another thread).

 

My question involves chipping technique.  I get very confused because there seem to be so many different approaches for the basic chip shot.  In various places I have read/seen the following:

 

-Grip club like the putter and hit it like a putt

-Use regular grip but choke down

-hinge and hold (Phil M.)

-Use regular grip, don't choke down, and lift club heel off the ground and hit the chip off the toe of the club

-anchor club to inside of lead forearm (sort of like Kuchar's putting stroke).

-hold club straight up and down and move club straight back and through

-hold club at normal angle and use a mini rotational turn.

-put ball well back in stance

-put ball in center of stance

-use same club for all chips

-vary club based on length of roll desired

 

So I think my problem is that I tend to experiment with all these different approaches and my mind gets so jumbled that when I get on the course I have no clue how to properly execute a basic chip shot near the green.

 

Any advice appreciated, or a link to a book/video that has a good, standard, method for chipping.  I need to settle on one method and can't seem to figure out all the conflicting advice/opinions!  Such a basic shot I am surprised there is so much differing opinion out there!

post #2 of 16

I love Stan Utley's method myself.  I read his book the Art of the Short Game and it made a massive difference in my game almost immediately.  His method is simple but solid and dependable.

 

His sand method might seem a little odd at first but I've found it to be every bit as reliable as his chip and pitch shots.  I went from just crossing my fingers and hoping to hack it out of the sand to being confident of getting up and down.

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Short-Game-Tour-Tested/dp/1592402925/qid=1364999713

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info on the Utley book... reviews on Amazon are almost unanimously positive - will definitely check it out
 

post #4 of 16

For me the basic chipping swing is just a miniature version of a full wedge swing - stance a little narrower, ball a little back of center, weight forward, takeaway with a little wrist hinge, and hit down on the back of the ball.

 

However, the game around the green is where you get to execute all kinds of creativity, so I try to embrace all those different varieties. Everything from a low back in the stance shot, to a dead handed slide the club under the ball shot, to an open faced flop, to a putting stroke using a less lofted iron, to even a bladed shot when the ball is right up against the collar.

 

Practice these at the range until you know what kind of shot will be produced by each of these options.

post #5 of 16

Dak, great advice.  I experimented with many of the techniques that were mentioned by the original poster, and they all "work" and produce something slightly different.  You have to practice around the green to really know what happens.

I will go to my local course when it's not busy and play 9 holes alone.  I will tee off, just for practice then go to 100 yards and drop 4 balls and play them in.  Way better than any range practice if you can do it.

One of my key success thoughts was the weight HAS to be on the left side so as not to edge the ball.  Lots and Lots of practice around the yard spot chipping and pitching balls.  I can flop pretty good, distance control with flop is coming.  Then saw a special on Sevie Ballesteros.  He got pretty far from ball, legs really wide, blade really opened and then seemed to speed swing under the ball for almost a straight up and down shot.  Im able to pull that off once in a while.  Chipping and pitching can be great fun to practice and it's not hard on the back, for me like full swings.

post #6 of 16
I am a big fan of Paul Wilson's suggested method and have really improved my chipping since I've adopted it.

I use my full swing grip, place the ball opposite your rear toe, and stand about one footprint away from the ball. Because the ball is back in your stance, you'll have forward shaft lean. From there, simply make a putting stroke.

As for what club to use, just remember these ratios of how far the ball flies to how far the ball rolls out:

SW 1 to 1
PW 1 to 2
9i 1 to 3
8i 1 to 4
7i 1 to 5
Etc

For example, if you want to carry the ball 6 feet and want it to roll another 12 feet after that, use your PW.

It is a simplistic stroke, which minimizes the chances of a mis-hit. Also, knowing the ratios will give you a lot of confidence that you have the right club. I used to just guess what club to chip with. This system eliminated the guess and gives you a for sure club.

I am in the Ray Floyd camp of getting the ball rolling as soon as you can. If you are that type of chipper, I suggest trying this method.
post #7 of 16
I started to use the ratio system for chipping a few months ago and find it very reliable. I'm still struggling w/ pacing off distances without holding up play - but I've got to do it if I really want to find the right club to clip with an the right landing area. My partners aren't even aware that I'm doing it though -

http://www.shawnhumphries.com/humpdays/chipping_ratios.php

As for technique, I concentrate on keeping weight forward at all times (left side), sternum forward, left shoulder lower than the usual tilt on a full swing, and a descending hit on the ball.

Paidraig's video (I posted it elsewhere on this forum, I think), is something I think about especially on the longer chips and when I get into pitching distances.
post #8 of 16

I have spent more time on chipping than any other aspect of my game - through necessity & availability of a backyard where I can (wife gets PO'd about all the divots though).  Through all the trials & tribulations, I have come up with a few key things that work for me...

 

1. lift the club head slightly off the turf before you bring it back - creates muscle tension in the forearms which helps ... alot.

2. don't dip the right shoulder on the downswing - sure fire way to chunk it.

3. get a little bit of hip turn in the motion - don't just hit a chip shot with a static body.

4. lag the club head & keep your wrists VERY firm, and hold the follow through.

5. Accelerate through it just like a normal shot - don't take a big backswing and decelerate the clubhead at impact because its such a lightly struck shot. 

 

Lift club, slow deliberate backswing, firm wrists, don't dip shoulder, slight hip turn, accelerate through the ball, hold finish.    This method has helped me immensely ...

 

Nothing worse in golf than chunking a chip shot - hate that more than onions on a cheeseburger.     Now if I could only putt half as well (OK, I'll take a quarter as well) as I chip ... my hcp would be where it should be ...

 

PS - I like the roll out method with a 9i or PW as opposed to flying it to the pin - much more reliable for me on most chips (I don't use spinny balls).


Edited by inthehole - 4/5/13 at 8:44am
post #9 of 16

I don't use a set method, i am closer to Utley's method than anything else. I'll only use my sandwedge to PW for my short game. I can control distance better through the air then on the ground, so i tend to fly the ball further and let the roll out be shorter. 

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well I got Utley's book, scanned the chipping section.  Looks like he recommends more of a "mini-swing" approach.... square stance, regular grip, ball centered, and a pivot around the front leg.  He compares the chip to "just the bottom part" of a regular swing. 

 

This is quite a different approach from most others I've seen, but I am going to try it out next time I practice.  I do like his overall theory of basing the chip/pitch off your regular swing.

post #11 of 16

What kind of distances are you talking about here? When I think of a chip, I'm usually thinking of a few feet off of the green or right on the fringe (in which case I'd probably putt it). For all other shots inside of 75 yds or so, I use this technique:

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/39411/quickie-pitching-video

 

I can't tell you how much it helped my short game (along with others on the forum). Once you get comfortable with the technique, you can adjust ball position and wirst break for lower shots to high fluffy pitches.

post #12 of 16
I see Stan Utley's pivot in that video - but I don't think that would work from more than a few yds off the green - a 75 yd shot is a 3/4 or even a full swing w/ a wedge.
post #13 of 16

I use Ultleys method out to about 70 yards (both chips and pitches) at which point I switch to a half to 3/4 swing with my SW.  Distance really isn't a problem and I find distance control with his method is really easy to dial in.

 

I also like how he defines the difference between a chip and a pitch as simply being with a pitch you're using the bounce and a chip is struck with a normal descending blow hitting the ball first.  So you can hit both 50yd pitches when you need a soft landing or a 50yd chip because you have lots of green to work with.

post #14 of 16

Well to start with i try to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. I think this will help to start selecting your club to chip with.

I prefer the so called bump and run ( it's highly affective and less room for error ) 

For the technique i like to think as follows

 

first of all narrow the stands and slightly open

ball position just left off middle

grip shorter with hands well in front off the ball

make a smooth stroke not using any wrist action

make sure you keep swing speed up 

 

If you have trouble to make good contact, make your practice swings just next to the ball

and look where the club brushes to the grass. if good it should be straight after the ball

if not adjust your ball position in your stands till you brush the grass after the ball.

this should make your contact better.  

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anthony View Post

What kind of distances are you talking about here? When I think of a chip, I'm usually thinking of a few feet off of the green or right on the fringe (in which case I'd probably putt it). For all other shots inside of 75 yds or so, I use this technique:

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/39411/quickie-pitching-video

 

I can't tell you how much it helped my short game (along with others on the forum). Once you get comfortable with the technique, you can adjust ball position and wirst break for lower shots to high fluffy pitches.

 

Yeah I'm talking about the basic chip... just a few feet off the green.  My dilemma is between the standard "bump and run" type chip (ball back, open stance, descending blow) and a more "mini-swing-like" chip (pivot, passive arms etc.).  Those seem to be the 2 main camps with lots of variations.

 

I guess I will have to spend some time trying this stuff out and see what works best for me.  I think if I could improve my chipping I could shave 5 strokes off my HC easy, it's that bad.

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoverny View Post

 

Yeah I'm talking about the basic chip... just a few feet off the green.  My dilemma is between the standard "bump and run" type chip (ball back, open stance, descending blow) and a more "mini-swing-like" chip (pivot, passive arms etc.).  Those seem to be the 2 main camps with lots of variations.

 

I guess I will have to spend some time trying this stuff out and see what works best for me.  I think if I could improve my chipping I could shave 5 strokes off my HC easy, it's that bad.

Take a look at the video that Anthony is pointing you to. I was always a good chipper but had NO idea how to pitch without blading, that video fixed me up pretty quick. Now, like many on here, I much prefer to pitch than chip regardless of the distance.

 

It's pretty much Awesome Possum!

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