Chip Shots

Save strokes from just off the green

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One of the reasons the world’s best players are so good is that they have stellar short games. Consider how well Phil Mickelson chipped the ball at this year’s Masters. On Sunday, his driver got him into trouble on a few holes, but he got the ball back in play—and up and down—because of his combined chipping and putting skills.

Learning how to chip the ball well will help you save strokes, but it also has side benefits. After all, the motion you use to chip is really just a small version of your full swing. Once you learn to chip well, simply lengthen your swing into a pitch-shot length and then, with a little more motion, you have a full swing. Here are a few variations of the chip shot that will help you save shots around the greens, and maybe even help your full swing, too!

1 Hold Your Finish

One of the keys to good chipping is to control the length of your swing, back and through the shot. Since you’re hitting a low shot, make sure to finish with the club in a low followthrough. This will prove that your impact and contact positions were good. If you can learn to finish in this position and hold it until your ball rolls next to the cup, you’ll look like a pro!

2 The Low Spinner And The Release Runner

Tour pros have great impact positions when they hit shots and, as a result, they’re able to hit some really fun low shots.

a.) The low spinner comes in on a low trajectory, takes a bounce or two and then spins hard. To hit a shot like this, simply hit a long version of a chip.

I recommend opening the club slightly at address and then getting into a good setup position. Even though the clubface is open a little, the setup and chipping motion will produce a low shot. As you swing into the ball, make sure you hold the face open through impact and finish low. Combining the little clubface rotation with a great impact will produce the spin you’re looking for.


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