Working on the chip shot |

Working on the chip shot

Terry Gingell

The chip shot is a low rolling shot played from close to the green.

This shot should be played when there is enough room for the ball to fly one-third of the total distance, land on the green and roll the remaining two-thirds. If this is not possible — for example one third of the total distance is short of the green the choice of shot should be a pitch shot. The pitch is a shot that flies higher than a chip and therefore stops more quickly.

For the chip select a pitching wedge and move the ball further back in the stance, even with the right foot. This has the effect of reducing the loft of the club. The weight should be positioned slightly forward and the grip should point at the left thigh. These adjustments to the address position help to ensure clean contact.

Swing the club back and forth equal distance keeping the weight on the front foot. The swinging motion is a synchronized swing of the arms and body. This is in fact simply a smaller version of the full swing.

The key point to this swing is that the club must not pass the left arm through impact. The instinct to lift the ball is destructive and leads to erratic chipping. The striking motion is that the ball is driven forward and the loft on the club makes the ball pop into the air.

Practice this swing with the feeling of a pendulum motion, back forward and stop. This uniform approach will lead to easier distance control and more consistent chipping.

Terry Gingell is the director of instruction at Eagle Valley Golf and can be reached at 887-7174. Do you have a question you would like to see answered in this column? Email Terry at