A chip shot is used when your ball misses the green, but is close enough to the green to use a chipping stroke. The goal of a chip shot is to get your ball in the air and then rolling like a putt to the hole.
How to Hit a Chip Shot
First, pick a club that provides enough loft to carry any rough or high turf (grass that is not cut to fairway length) and allows the golf ball to land on the green and roll like a putt to the hole. A chip shot can be played with 7-Iron, 8-Iron, 9-Iron, Pitching Wedge or Sand Wedge.
Once you choose your club, you need to set up for your shot.
Place the club behind the ball, square to your target. Make sure the face of the club is pointing at your target line.
Grip the club using your normal grip (Baseball Grip, Interlock, or Overlap), but hold it closer to the bottom of the grip. This is the part of the grip near the end where you see the shaft of the club. By holding the bottom of the grip, you are choking down on the grip, similar to a baseball player choking up on a bat. This will give you more control of the golf club.
Next, you need to address your ball position. The ball is played back in your stance. This means the ball must be closer to your back foot, which is the one farthest from the hole. The width of your feet should be less than shoulder width apart. Your weight should be 60% on your front foot and 40% on your back foot. This allows the ball to get up in the air.
You want to have the center of your body (think of your spine), ahead of the golf ball, closer to the hole.
The last part of the set up position for the chip shot is to place your hands and the grip of the club leaning towards your target.
So remember, for a chip shot everything is in front of the golf ball or closer to your target:
- Your weight
- The center of your body
- Your hands
This enables you to make a descending strike on the ball, which makes the ball carry the rough or the high turf and land on the green and roll like a putt to the hole.
The stroke for a chip shot is a firm-wristed stroke. You don’t want to have any hinge in your wrists. You want to swing the club head straight back and straight through, striking the ball with a descending blow then brushing the turf. Keep the back of your top hand moving towards your target. Do not stop your hands from moving towards your target.
Just like a putting stroke, the length of the stroke will determine how far the ball will go. A long stroke will make the ball travel farther and a short stroke causes the ball to travel a shorter distance.
Once you become comfortable with your stroke in the chip shot, you will be able to use different clubs to achieve different shots.
Learn more about short game.