Mastering the chip shot

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The chip shot.

This shot is often the most frustrating of shots. You have hit two or threegoods shots and are nearly on the green only to take three or four more to get into the hole. Inconsistency in the short game comes from two areas.

Obviously poor form will lead to inconsistent shots; but also a lack of preplanning leading to poor shot selection and club selection will make the problem worse.

Two shots are most commonly played from around the green. The pitch shot, a high shot that stops quickly, and the chip shot, a lower, rolling shot.

To determine which shot to play use my guideline of one-third/two-thirds; one-third in the air, land on the green, roll the remaining two-thirds. If you can do this, select a chip shot, if you can't, select a pitch.

To play the chip shot consistently:

a Select a pitching wedge.

a Play the ball even with the right foot.

a Feet closer together than normal.

a Stance slightly open (aiming left of the target).

a Hands slightly ahead of the ball.

a Weight a little on the front foot.

a Swing back and forth equal distance using the arms, shoulders and chest in unison, not the wrists.

a At the completion of the swing come to a complete stop and see that the club head has not passed the left arm (as demonstrated in photo).

To practice this shot place a marker on the green as an intermediate target and practice. This helps to develop a feel for trajectory and roll, making consistent chipping much easier.

Terry Gingell is the PGA Director of Instruction at Eagle Valley Golf. He's now taking registration for Sports Camps and Junior Golf Camps. Gingell can be reached at 887-7174.


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