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can't chip the ball to save my life


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teeing off is my strong suit. usually about 280-300 straight, draw, fade, anything, i can put the ball in play more often than not, and putting I'm fairly decent. but when it comes to chipping i cant do it. this past Sunday i was on a 330 par 4, and i wanted to go for glory so i took my driver out and crushed the ball to about 5 yds from the green. got up there and attempted to chip my 56 wedge up slope to the center of the green, but instead i hit off the toe of the club to the fringe and rolled to the "sand" now the sand is so hard packed at this course you can putt out most of the time but this wasnt the case and i again attempted to chip out, made solid contact this time but rolled past the pin down the back of the green to the fringe, naturally i got aggravated and with the same club tried again but this time got it right and one putted. now this went from a fairly easy birdie opportunity to the most frustrating bogey. i need help

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When I'm chipping like crap, I have 2 keys; ball back of center with an open stance, and I look at the ball through impact. The latter stops me from using my body too much and prevents me from blocking my hands open or thinning the ball with the blade. It takes some trust in your stroke but I make sweet contact every time. The feeling of releasing the club through the ball can feel like you're pulling it left, but with short chips and pitches as with putts, I feel like focusing on that action puts it on autopilot and when I struggle I inevitably lose track of the ball due to looking at the target.

That's me though, there are other styles of chipping and different types of flights. Consider an easier tip; putt absolutely everything you conceivably can. Your worst putt will almost always be closer than your worst chip, which should be better than your worst pitch, etc. I play a putter out of the fairway a fair amount of the time and even rough depending on the distance to cover and the conditions.

I also hit the ball long and I feel for you, I've been in the center of the fairway after a long drive and made bogey more times than I'd like to admit. Hit the practice green for several hours on occasion with a half dozen or so balls and practice hitting from every lie you can. Do different angles, aim at nearby and far cups, and try to learn a way that works. I'm always surprised how often I hit the ball too gently, even when the ball goes past the hole. Don't decelerate and don't wave the club at the ball; hit through it solidly even if the shot only needs to go 6 feet.

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I had the same problem.  The video by Phil Mickelson changed my game..."Secrets of the Short Game" shows his technique for chipping/pitching and I incorporated them into my game.  I cannot tell you how much difference it has made.  Good luck to you.

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My major chipping woes went away with one thought. Accelerate Through The Ball. No more thins fats or full blown stupids. My accuracy still needs some work, but most of that is inexperience. I'll land the ball right where I wanted to only to find it was a horrid idea.
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I know you can't always do it depending on what is between you and the green, but I tend to chip with much lower lofted clubs.  Anywhere from my 8 iron to a 3 hybrid depending on the terrain.

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My chipping swing thoughts:

1. most weight on left foot -- feet slightly open

2. ball inside of back foot

3. hold shaft at impact angle on follow through -- do not release club

4. straight left arm, right elbow bent/folded

5. look at landing spot, front of ball, then landing spot again, then front of ball as I execute swing

6. keep weight and spine angle stable through swing

I do not think about how much to swing or how hard to hit the ball. I just try and focus on where I want the ball to land and with what kind of flight -- kind of like how I putt. I do concentrate on numbers 4, 5, and 6 as I'm swinging. Bad chips are usually a result of something wrong with 4 or 6.

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Or you could go out of the box and use a hybrid to chip from the apron or through the little bit of fairway left and onto the green..works great if you have a long run to the hole.  I just grip all the way down to the shaft and then swing like a putting stroke.

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Originally Posted by Paradox

Or you could go out of the box and use a hybrid to chip from the apron or through the little bit of fairway left and onto the green..works great if you have a long run to the hole.  I just grip all the way down to the shaft and then swing like a putting stroke.


Agreed. Many of the seasoned gentlemen I play with have taught me this. Saved me a good 3-5 strokes a round. As one guys puts it, "There is no place for what club you used on your score card."

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I too struggle with chipping - three things help tremendously.

1. SHORTEN back swing.

2. Accelerate through - don't baby it.

3. LOOK at the ball - I mean really stare it down & don't lift your head until the ball is rolling, not hopping.

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Take all these into consideration. The nice thing about chipping is you can do it in your front yard, back yard, or a park nearby. I personally feel that chipping doesnt take any power so I swing kind of like a putter. As little body movement as possible and only use your shoulders. Keep a stiff left arm, and dont be afraid to hit the ball. especially with a 56. hit it right and youll get mostly loft. chipping is really a feel thing as far as power goes. I also like the ball towards my front foot and i keep my weight on the left foot but it all depends on lie. take a few practice swings just to get your desired power down and stay down through the ball and accelerate through.

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I constantly chip with my 8 iron.  Unless there is something I need to clear or too little green to work with, I'll chip it with my 8 or 7.  If you don't need to get it up in the air for any reason, keep it low, less can go wrong.  When you miss-hit it using a club with less loft the miss isn't as bad as a chunk or skull like when you use a wedge.  Sure it doesn't look as nice but I think it's a lot easier to control and at an amateur skill level we should just worry about getting the ball within a 1 putt distance.

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Originally Posted by gspjeb

I had the same problem.  The video by Phil Mickelson changed my game..."Secrets of the Short Game" shows his technique for chipping/pitching and I incorporated them into my game.  I cannot tell you how much difference it has made.  Good luck to you.


I can not say enough about this video and how fast it changed my game. I watch it frequently over and over every year. A little secret for ya.....

This and of them on there...

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Originally Posted by Valleygolfer

I can not say enough about this video and how fast it changed my game. I watch it frequently over and over every year. A little secret for ya.....

This and of them on there...




*more

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im not keen on phils play it forward method, nor the full weight on left leg all the way through,......

however his words of "accelerate through the ball, and dont let the clubhead pass the hands" are invaluable bits of advice

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chipping is the one thing I'm normally good at. What I PERSONALLY do is dfepending on the situation, take mainly a P wedge, play it off the back foot, arrange my feet at an acute angle towards where I'm going, hands forward, and rock the shoulders. Just the way I was taught. By many times, and this is magic I promise, you, take a hyrbrid, and use it like a putt. I normally almost "chip" in. It gets a better starting roll from the fringe or apron around the green, but I don't use it in rough, or far out as I feel bad distance control. Also you could just stop missing greens....just kidding, good luck.

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Originally Posted by Jimdangles

Take all these into consideration. The nice thing about chipping is you can do it in your front yard, back yard, or a park nearby. I personally feel that chipping doesnt take any power so I swing kind of like a putter. As little body movement as possible and only use your shoulders. Keep a stiff left arm, and dont be afraid to hit the ball. especially with a 56. hit it right and youll get mostly loft. chipping is really a feel thing as far as power goes. I also like the ball towards my front foot and i keep my weight on the left foot but it all depends on lie. take a few practice swings just to get your desired power down and stay down through the ball and accelerate through.



I've tried this, but the thing is with a lower lofted club such as a 7 or 8 you have to hit the ball so lightly - takes so much more feel to hit that shot (I always overshoot the hole).   I chip with my 50° gap wedge most of the time - you can take a firmer swing & also, don't have to read the green all the way in, only from your landing spot in, which is much closer to the pin.     I guess there are advantages both ways, but for me, I don't have the touch necessary for the longer clubs around the green.

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Note: This thread is 3349 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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