Golf is a game about consistencyBy improving your chip shots both your golf and score will improve. To score well you need to be consistent in both your physical approach and your mental concentration. A golfer will need to have a large repertoire of shots that they can muster at any given point throughout a golf-round. The chip-shot is an essential part of this repertoire.
The real point scoring part of golf and a part that you need to be very comfortable with is the short-game.The “chip-shot” falls into this category. It is a short range shot generally but can be used up-to distances of 70 yards, if the ground and course are conducive to this range. However generally this shot will be used to get you very close to the pin at distances of 30-40 yards. A choice club for this shot may surprise you but a 7 iron or a 5 iron is the best, as it helps keep the ball low and allows the golf ball to roll. Remember this is not a pitch shot so no wedges are needed.
A chip-shot is characterized by a low shot trajectory with minimal loft, that results in the ball bouncing and running a short distance beyond its landing point until it comes to rest.It is useful as it eliminates height from a shot. This can be useful if height may create other problems, for example a bunker or water-hazard to the left or right of your intended target direction. By keeping the ball low you are avoiding potential problems.
Be aware that the swing associated with this shot is not a full golf swing, but more restrained and restricted.
The following tips will help you improve this aspect of your game:
Bring your feet closer together than normal, they should be inside you shoulders width level with your chest muscles.
Spread your weight out to a ratio of 60% to 40%, with the most weight on your front foot. You will physically be able to feel this weight-shift.
Lean slightly forward, the club handle should be in line with your front facing hip.
Next concentrate on your grip as it will be lower than normal. The wrists will not be flexible like in a normal golf-swing but will remain locked with the forearms and the shoulders.
This type of rigid grip will feel strange at first, but the idea is to get the ball to literally “chip” off the ground, not fly high.There will be no divot after the ball has been struck. You are not compressing the ball as a traditional shot would accomplish, instead you are pinching the ball off the ground.
It is important to consider that the back-swing will not be a full swing. Ensure that no more than a half-turn backswing is generated depending on the distance required.
The forward-swing must intentionally be stopped short and should not rise above waist height.This forward-swing will promote the chip shot by keeping the ball low with the idea that the ball will stop short of the pin and roll the rest of the distance.
To familiarize yourself with these new techniques it is advisable to take time on your local driving-range and practice. The rigid grip and restricted swing may feel unusual but your chip shots will improve.