How to Chip a Golf Ball a Precise Distance – You Must Need To Know
Have you ever had a beautiful drive down the fairway ruined because your short game isn’t up to par? Have you been in a situation where a well-placed chip shot could win the game, only to find yourself not sure exactly how to finish it? If your golf game is anything like mine, then you probably answered yes to these questions. The sad truth is that most of us practice our drives, and we practice our putting, but we tend to leave our chip shots up to chance. If that’s you, then you’re neglecting a very important part of your overall game. The good news is that perfecting your chip shot is not as difficult as it sounds. With a little bit of knowledge and a fair amount of practice, you too can learn how to chip a golf ball a precise distance and get it exactly where it needs to be.
What You Will Need to Follow this Tutorial
To successfully chip a golf ball, you’re going to need just a couple of items:
●A set of golf clubs: While you probably won’t need all of the clubs, you’ll definitely need the clubs with the higher angles -- the sand, lob and pitching wedges, for instance, as well as the higher-numbered irons.
● Golf balls : While you can practice with just about any balls, the quality of the golf ball does matter in some respects, especially if you’re going to work on your backspin -- cheaper balls are constructed in such a way as to make things like backspin harder to achieve.
Step 1: Determine The Trajectory and Target of the Ball
Obviously, if you’re going to place the ball in a specific spot, you need to know where you want it to go. To do this, you need to be able to estimate the distance (in yards). At the same time, though, you need to figure out how high you want the ball to go. This is especially important if you need to get the ball over an obstacle, such as a bush. Do you need the ball to go a relatively short distance, but with a high arc? Is distance more important? Do you need something in the middle? When you put these factors together, you get an overall trajectory.
(image courtesy of www.explorelearning.com)
Step 2: Choose the Right Club
Which club you choose will be determined by the answers to the questions in step 1. If you need a higher arc, then you want a club with a larger angle, like a lob or pitching wedge. If you need to have the ball travel farther, then a club with less of an angle might do the trick. Keep in mind as well that the higher the arc, the less the ball will roll when it hits the ground.
Step 3: Pay Attention to Your Backswing
With a chip shot, the speed of the club is much less important than the distance of your backswing. The farther back you take the club, the harder the overall impact will be. For example, taking a lob wedge back halfway will get you a shot of around 30 yards, while going back three-quarters will generally take the ball about 20 yards farther.
Step 4: Keep Your Wrists in Place
With a chip shot, you want your wrists to stay fairly quiet as you approach the ball. This means less movement in your swing. The trajectory of the ball will be largely affected by the position of the club head and where on the head you hit, so minimizing your wrist movement will help keep your hits solid and consistent.
Step 5: Practice, Practice, Practice!
This can’t be emphasized enough: you will NOT become a proficient chipper unless you practice this shot. And in this case, practice means imagining many different scenarios. So, practice with a variety of clubs, from the highest-angled wedges down to the lower irons. Work on distance, but also keep in mind that height is very important. Practice with different levels of backswing as well, so you can learn the different impact you can have from different spots. Knowledge is good, but in this case, practice is important for building your eye and muscle memory.
● Swinging harder is not the answer -- don’t try and force the ball to travel. Let the club do the work.
● Shorter shots are harder to master, so spend extra time on these.
● Remember that the higher the loft, the less roll on the ground.
● Once you have the basics down, you can try to work on adding backspin to the ball. This is a great trick for getting the ball to stop dead in its tracks, but it does take work!
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. While knowledge is important, there is no substitute for practice, so I recommend going out there and hitting the range today -- after you watch this video that puts it all together, of course.