Published: 06:00, 26 February 2021
This week we’re looking at chipping and we’re going to need that imaginary pane of glass that we used for pitching again!
If you remember, with pitching, we imagined smashing a pane of glass at waist high, parallel to the ground. With chipping, that pane of glass is back but this time we are going to keep it intact and ensure that our clubhead remains beneath it throughout the stroke. I say stroke because, for me, the chipping motion closely resembles the putting stroke - with a few subtle changes.
Chris is Head PGA Professional at Sittingbourne & Milton Regis Golf Club and owner of the CW Golf Studio, has been a PGA Professional for 23 years. During the course of this six-week programme, he will share with you some of his most popular drills and routines that he has found, through his coaching experiences, to benefit all golfers irrespective of their golf handicap or age.
It is important to note that the chipping motion can be applied to ANY club in the bag (with the exception of the driver and putter). For this, all we are interested in is the loft on the club, which will help us achieve our desired flight and ball roll.
Just like with the full swing, the key to chipping is in your start and finish position. I’ve already mentioned the putting stroke so it makes sense that when we set up to play the shot our start position is very similar to the putting stroke but with some key differences. Make sure you grip down on the club you have selected so as to make it the same length as your putter.
You should now find that there is some excess grip protruding at the top. This will enable you to stand close to the ball (with your eyes directly above it) and have your hands the same distance from the ground as they would be if you were putting. With the chip shot you should always feel closer to the ball than you would be if you were playing a pitch or full swing. Have a narrow stance with your feet about a clubhead width apart and make sure that the ball is positioned towards your back foot.
And now for the secret…
Imagine that the excess bit of grip sticking out above your hands is slipped up the sleeve of your lead arm (closest to the target) and focus on keeping it there and not stretching your sleeves throughout the stroke. This means that at address, the shaft is up your sleeve and when you finish it still has the same relationship to your arm. If you can achieve this you will have passive hands, a big plus for any chip shot!
All that then remains is to make sure you have chosen the correct club/loft for the shot you are looking to play. I like to live by this simple formula. If you choose a 7-iron you should see a 1/4 of the shot through the air and 3/4 rolling. A 9-iron will be 50 air/50 roll and a sand wedge 75 air/25 roll.