How to Chip in Golf for Beginners [Easy and Proven Golf Chipping Tips]

how to chip in golf

Let me start by saying that chipping is one of the most crucial aspects of golf. Chip well, score well – that’s my motto! During my early days of golfing, I struggled with my chipping technique. It’s a scary sight to see your ball flying high above the flag, landing into a bunker, or going way too far away from the hole. But I practiced religiously, and now I have mastered my chipping style. So, my fellow golf enthusiasts, today, I will be sharing my tips on how to chip in golf and improve your scorecard. Are you ready?

Before we dive into the detailed step-by-step guide, let’s look at the chipping basics. 

What is Chipping in Golf?

Chipping is a shot that is played to get the ball from off the green and onto the putting surface. The goal is to get the ball as close to the hole as possible with a controlled swing and minimal airtime. Chipping golf balls requires the golfer to use a short stroke with a straight backswing and follow-through, making contact with the ball with precision. But how far is a chip shot in golf?

Typically, this type of shot is played from around 10 to 20 yards away. However, depending on your skill level and the type of club you use, you may need to adjust your distance accordingly.

Basic Chip Shot Set-Up
Ball Position Back in stance
Shaft LeanForward
Weight Distribution80% on the front foot
HandsAhead of ball
EyesOn ball
Swing PathSlightly descending
Follow-ThroughAccelerate to target

Now let’s look at the steps on how to chip in golf.

How to Chip a Golf Ball | 5 Easy Steps

I remember when I first started playing golf, I struggled with my chip shots. I couldn’t get the ball to land on the green, and when I did, it was too far from the hole. However, after much practice and following the steps below, I have perfected my chip shot, and it has become one of my best shots.

1. Choose the Right Club

2. Get into the Right Position

3. Use Your Hands and Arms

4. Make Contact with the Ball 

5. Control the Ball’s Landing 

Step 1: Choose the Right Club 

The first step in chipping is choosing the right club. Generally, you should use a wedge when chipping. However, the distance you need to cover will dictate the wedge you choose.

a golfer choosing a club for a chip shot

I remember playing at a par-three course, and I missed the green, leaving myself with a 20-yard chip. I had no confidence in my chipping abilities, and I started getting nervous about the shot. Then, my friend recommended that I use a 56-degree sand wedge, and it worked wonders. The ball landed softly on the green and rolled toward the hole within a few feet.

What Club to Use for Chipping
ClubLoft (degrees)Length (inches)Swing WeightDistanceUse
Pitching Wedge44-4934-38D0-D410-20 yardsUsed for short chips around the green that require less airtime
Gap Wedge50-5334-38D0-D420-30 yardsUsed for mid-range chipping around the green further from the golfer
Sand Wedge54-5834-38D0-D410-20 yardsUsed for shots that require more airtime to get over a hazard or bunker
Lob Wedge59+34-38D0-D4<10 yardsUsed for shots that require precise accuracy and high trajectory to land softly on the green

Remember, these are just guidelines – you’ll need to take into account the conditions of the course, your own skill level, and your personal preferences when selecting the best club for chipping golf shots. It’s all on you whether to use a gap wedge or do your chipping with a lob wedge. 

Step 2: Get into the Right Position

The next step is to get into the right position. Stand facing your target with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your weight should be evenly distributed on both feet, and your knees should be slightly flexed. Your hands should be ahead of the golf ball, and your spine should be tilted slightly toward the target.

In my early days of chipping, I struggled with keeping my weight evenly distributed on both feet. I found myself leaning too much on my lead foot, which affected my balance. I solved this problem by practicing chipping with a medicine ball on my back foot. This exercise trained my body to stay balanced and centered throughout my swing.

Step 3: Use Your Hands and Arms

The third step is to use your hands and arms to chip the ball. Start by taking the club back slowly and low to the ground. Your wrists should hinge as you take the club back. Once you reach the top of your backswing, pause briefly before starting your downswing. Your hands should lead the clubhead on the downswing, and your arms should be relaxed.

Step 4: Make Contact with the Ball 

a golfer position after a chip shot contact with the ball

The fourth step is to make contact with the ball. When you’re chipping golf balls, you want to hit down on the ball to get it up in the air quickly. Ideally, you should make contact with the ball first before hitting the ground. Your grip pressure should increase as you approach the ball, and you should maintain it through impact.

Step 5: Control the Ball’s Landing 

The final step is to control the ball’s landing. You want the ball to land softly on the green and roll toward the hole. To do this, you need to control the trajectory and spin of the ball. Use your wrists and hands to add spin to the ball, or take spin off it.

To get deeper insights, we have got a study on the effect of skill level on the mechanics of a golf chip shot by the experts at Southwestern University. Read the analysis done on 14 golfers and get yourself equipped with the best chipping technique.

How to Hit a Short Chip Shot?

A short chip shot is a shot that requires precision, accuracy, and control. Here is how to hit a short chip shot 

Step 1: Analyze the Situation

Before taking your shot, you need to consider the situation. Analyze the lie of the ball, the slope of the terrain, and the distance to the hole. This will help you choose the right club and plan your shot accordingly.

Step 2: Pick the Club

When it comes to hitting a short chip shot, you need to choose the right club. The right club will help you hit the ball accurately and control its trajectory. For a short chip shot, you can use a wedge or a short iron club.

Step 3: Set Up for the Shot

Once you have assessed the situation and chosen the right club, you need to set up for the shot. Set up with your feet shoulder-width apart and the ball positioned in the center of your stance. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your feet, and your hands should be slightly ahead of the ball.

Step 4: Take Your Shot

Now it’s time to take your shot. Keep your swing smooth and your body relaxed. Take a short backswing and follow through with a controlled swing. Keep your wrists firm and your hands ahead of the clubface.

Tips for Hitting Short Chip Shots
Keep your head down and your eyes on the ball throughout the shot.
Don’t try to lift the ball with your swing. Let the loft of the club do the work for you.
Aim for the center of the green, not the pin.

How to Chip a Golf Ball Out of the Rough?

Chipping a golf ball out of the rough is an essential part of the game. The trick is to approach this shot with confidence and a strategic plan.

1. First, assess the lie of your ball in the rough. Is it sitting up or buried? This will determine the type of club to use in the rough. For a ball sitting up, choose a wedge with more loft to generate enough elevation. For a deeply buried ball, select a club with less loft for a low shot that will maximize the roll.
2. Next, step up to the ball with a narrow stance and a slightly open clubface. This allows for easier contact with the ball and ensures that it will be lofted over the rough.
3. Lastly, use your wrists and arms to swing the club back and through the ball with a smooth stroke. Remember to keep your weight forward and your eyes on the ball throughout the shot.
image captured after a golfer attempts a chip shot in the rough

In the table below, you’ll find the recommended clubs and lofts to use based on the lie of the ball in the rough & some quick tips to keep in mind during the chip shots.

Ball LieClub Recommendation
Sitting upWedge with more loft (54-60 degrees)
BuriedClub with less loft (8-9 iron)
Quick Tips
Assess the lie of the ball before selecting a club
Use a narrow stance and open clubface
Swing with your arms and wrists
Keep your weight forward
Keep your eyes on the ball

To know more about what clubs to use in the rough in detail, follow our expert guide.

YouTube Video via ChrisRyanGolf

How to Improve Chipping in Golf?

I can tell you that a good short game can be the difference between winning and losing. Here are some of my top tips on how to improve your chipping in golf:

1. Select the right club for the shot.
2. Keep your hands ahead of the clubface at impact.
3. Aim for the center of the green.
4. Use your body to power the shot, not just your arms.
5. Practice different types of chip shots, including uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies.
6. Keep your head still throughout the shot.
7. Visualize the shot before you hit it.
8. Learn to control your distances by varying the length of your backswing.

These golf chipping tips have all worked for me in real-game situations. My personal experience has taught me that consistency is key. Finding a routine that works for you, whether it’s utilizing a pre-shot routine or practicing on a regular basis, can make a big difference. Here’s a table breaking down how chipping abilities affect your score:

Avg. Score with Poor ChippingAvg. Score with Average ChippingAvg. Score with Excellent Chipping
90+80-8970-79

Expert Insights on How to Draw a Golf Ball

How to Chip in Golf for Beginners?

Now that you know the possible reasons for your chipping woes, let’s take a look at the golf chipping tips for beginners.

1. Position the ball in the center of your stance.
2. Firmly grip your club and square the face towards the target.
3. Place around 60% of your weight on your front foot and align your body toward the target.
4. Keep your hands ahead of the ball during the swing, ensuring that you make contact with the ball first.
5. Follow through with the swing and continue to look toward the target.
6. Practice chipping with different clubs to find the best fit for you.

How can I Practice Chipping at Home?

a golfer is practicing a chip shot at his home

While hitting balls at the range is always a great way to practice, there are also plenty of ways to practice chip shots at home. Here are some simple tips to help you get started:

  • Create a setup at home Use a hitting mat or a small piece of carpet to simulate a fairway, and set up a target to chip towards. This can be a bucket, a hula hoop, or even a piece of paper stuck to the wall.
  • Utilize a chipping golf net – There are plenty of affordable chipping nets available online or in sporting goods stores. These will provide a specific target, as well as a way to catch and retrieve your practice balls.
  • Practice on different surfaces – Try practicing on different surfaces, such as carpet, hardwood floors, or even outside on your lawn. This will help you get a feel for how the ball reacts on different types of terrain. Moreover, by going through the study on the effects of blocked & random practice on a golf chip shot, you can learn quickly.
  • Focus on technique – Use a mirror to check your stance and proper chipping technique. Pay attention to how your wrists and elbows move, and aim to create a consistent stroke.

Practicing chipping at home may not always be as exciting as hitting balls at the range, but it can be an extremely beneficial way to improve your golf game.

Why Can’t I Chip a Golf Ball?

Chipping can be one of the most challenging aspects of golf, especially for beginners. There could be several reasons why you are struggling with chip shots effectively. Here are some short pointers to help you identify and overcome your chipping woes:

1. Not Enough Practice: Chipping golf balls requires a lot of practice to master, and if you haven’t been putting in enough time and effort, it is natural to struggle.

2. Poor Technique: The way you hold the club, the grip, and the stance can make a significant difference in your chipping. Often, beginners tend to grip the club too tightly or not position their bodies correctly, resulting in inconsistent shots.

3. Equipment: Having the wrong club or a worn-out one can also impact your chipping. Make sure you have the right club in your bag, and that it is appropriately maintained.

4. Mental Game: Chipping requires a lot of focus and concentration, and if you are feeling anxious or nervous, it can affect your chip shots.

In my experience, the best way to improve your chipping is to practice with purpose. Set up targets and aim for them, and try different clubs and swings to see what works best for you.

Note: The weather and climate influence the chip shot in different ways so, it is not under the golfer’s control for such a scenario. Know more about the official study on the impact of weather variability on golfing activity and the implications of climate change

How to Hit a Chip Shot in Golf | Final Notes for Your Next Round

Becoming a master of the chip shot is a game-changer on the golf course. By following these simple steps on “How to Chip in Golf,” you can add a whole new dimension to your game and shave strokes off your scorecard. Remember to practice your technique consistently and stay calm under pressure to execute the perfect chip shots on the course. And when it comes to where to buy golf clubs, always invest in quality, reliable gear that will serve you well time and time again. 

As the great Ben Hogan once said, “The most important shot in golf is the next one.” Keep striving for improvement, and happy chipping! Follow Golf Ace Nation for more pro tips and insights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you turn your hips when chipping in golf?

When it comes to chipping in golf, your hips can play a crucial role in improving your shot. By turning your hips, you can generate more power and accuracy in your swing, allowing the ball to land exactly where you want it to. It may take some practice to master, but incorporating hip rotation into your golf chipping technique can lead to better results on the green.

Q. Where is the ball position for chipping?

One of the most important things to remember while chipping is the ball position. Chipping lessons will often emphasize the need to move the ball back in your stance, towards your back foot, to create a more descending strike on the ball. This is because a more steep angle of attack will help the ball get up in the air and stop more quickly on the green. 

Q. Why do I hit the ground before the ball when chipping?

It’s a common issue that many golfers face – hitting the ground before the ball when chipping. But why does this happen? It could be due to a number of factors such as poor stance, incorrect club selection, or simply not following through properly. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to analyze your best chipping technique and make necessary adjustments to improve your accuracy and consistency.

Q. Do you use your arms when chipping?

Talking about chipping a golf ball, some people opt to use their arms, while others prefer a more wrist-focused approach. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and comfort, as well as the situation at hand. There’s no right or wrong way to chip, as long as it gets you to the green in the fewest number of strokes possible.

Q. Should you open or close your face when chipping?

It depends on the situation at hand. Opening your face can be useful for high shots or when you’re trying to land the ball softly on the green. On the other hand, closing your face can provide more control and accuracy for lower chip shots. It’s all about finding the right balance and adjusting accordingly.

Q. Should you open your stance when chipping?

A chipping stance can make all the difference. Some golfers swear by opening up their stance while others prefer a more square position. But which one should you choose? It ultimately depends on your personal preference and what feels most comfortable to you. Experiment with both the chipping golf stance to see which one gives you the best results and go from there. 

Q. Do you turn your shoulders when chipping?

When chipping, turning your shoulders can have a big impact on your shot outcome. Keeping your shoulders square can limit your range of motion and accuracy while turning them slightly can help create more power and control.

Q. Do you bend your knees when chipping?

The answer is yes, you should. Bending your knees can help with balance and stability, allowing you to maintain control over your shot. It may feel awkward at first, but with some practice, it will become second nature. 

Q. Do you keep your left arm straight when chipping?

You might have heard some golf advice that insists on keeping your left arm straight when chipping golf shots. But is it really necessary? While it can be helpful for some golfers to maintain a straight left arm, ultimately, what matters most is hitting the ball cleanly and getting it close to the hole. 

Q. Should you use your wrist in a chip shot?

Yes, using your wrist in chip shots can help add more control and precision to your shot. While it’s important to maintain a stable and consistent wrist throughout your swing, a slight flick of the wrist at the point of contact with the ball can help create a smoother and more accurate shot.

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