Intro: How to Hit a Basic Chip Shot
In this instructable I am going to demonstrate some techniques that will help show how to hit a chip shot in golf. I will go over how to hit a low chip shot and a higher chip shot (often called a pitch shot), as these two are used the most often. This project was created to teach golfers with little experience how to approach an important type of shot. To perform this task, you will need a large outdoor area, your clubs, and a few golf balls. These shots are meant to be taken from about 70 yards and in, so take that under consideration when choosing an area to practice. The best clubs to use in this situation would be either a wedge or 9 iron, although higher irons could be used in some situations. Ideally you should practice this task at the local driving range or golf course to be able to see your progress when aiming for the green. However, as long as you have a good amount of space outside with grass and have a visible target you can try this anywhere.
Step 1: Position the Ball Near Your Back Foot
When setting up for a low chip shot, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, you are going to want to position yourself so that the golf ball is in line or just inside of your back foot. This helps you to better hit beneath the ball on your downswing. By doing this you can create a lot of backspin so that the ball will roll further on the green just like a putt.
Step 2: Set Up Your Feet
Next, you should keep your feet close and open up your lead foot by a few degrees. Your weight should be mostly on your lead foot and you should stand a little closer to the ball than your normal shot to get a more vertical angle with the club. Stand straight and tall with your knees slightly bent. Your back foot should be at a 90 degree angle with the direction that you want to hit the ball.
Step 3: Perform a Smooth and Continuous Partial Swing
When swinging, you do not want to take a full swing. Instead, try to bring your club back to your waist. Swing down and through on the ball and attempt to finish at the same height at which you started your swing. When coming through, your right wrist should not break but should instead “hinge” slightly. This will ensure that you actually get some distance and good contact on the ball. Otherwise, you may be susceptible to creating limited contact with the ball and simply popping it up. The majority of the work on this swing will come from your upper body.
You will want to have a smooth, continuous motion throughout the swing (similar to swinging your putter) so that the ball will run the green. This means that the ball will come in low and roll further on the green. With a low chip shot, the ball should spend more time rolling on the ground than moving through the air. Therefore, you should aim a few yards in front of the hole to make sure that the ball won’t roll past the hole.
Step 4: Address the Ball Differently for a High Chip
For a high chip shot there are a few changes to make when initially approaching the ball. First, the ball should be placed closer to the center of your body, which will help to control the point where you hit the ball. Next, angle your feet in the same manner as the low chip shot. However, you will want to spread your feet apart a little further and balance your weight in a different way. Your weight should be distributed a little more on the front foot than the back for this shot. It also helps to get in an athletic stance with your knees bent, instead of standing straight over the ball as instructed with the first shot.
Step 5: Aim for the Bottom of the Ball
With the pitch shot you will want to strike the ball where it connects with the grass. This will create more contact with the club and give the ball more loft. The ball will ideally come in high and should not roll too far after it lands.
Step 6: Keep Your Forearms Straight
Throughout this swing, you will want to keep your forearms tight and straight. You should not break or “hinge” in your wrists when performing this shot. The reason for this is because you want to make the club “work for you” and not try to lift the ball yourself when you hit it. When you attempt to lift the ball with your swing, the ball will not travel as far.
Step 7: Finish High on Your Swing
For the high pitch shot you should start your swing higher than the chip shot. Keep the forearms straight when coming through and finish your shot high. The high finish is important because that makes sure that you will follow through enough to get the appropriate amount of height on the ball. You should use the power in both your upper and lower body to control the strength of this shot.
When hit correctly, the ball will fall and catch on the green. With a pitch shot the ball is supposed to spend more time moving in the air than on the ground. The ball should not roll much so you will want to aim closer to the hole than with the low chip shot.
Step 8: Conclusion
Altogether, these tips should help an amateur golfer learn a few types of chip shots more quickly. Many golfers can get within 30 yards of the green with 2 or 3 strokes, but can often use 4 shots just to get the ball up on the green and in the hole. These extra shots can ruin a great round from a player. This shot is so important because when properly executed, it can also ease the difficulty of ensuing putts. Whether learning the game for business or to have fun, learning this shot is essential for improving your golf game.