February 1st, 2013 by Matt Keller
A solid short game can save you many shots on the golf course. In fact, a chip shot is like a mini-swing. The following fundamentals will help ensure you are more successful around the green.
Begin by taking a narrow stance with your feet set 6 to 8 inches apart. Open your front foot slightly to see the ball target better and allow your arms to pass your body. Continue with an athletic setup by bending your knees slightly and bending forward at your waist. Position the majority of your weight on your front foot and leg to encourage a downward strike on the golf ball.
Allow your arms to hang down tension-free as you grip the club. Position your hands slightly in front of the golf ball, which will promote a downward angle of approach into the ball. Your hands should be approximately six inches away from your left leg. Position your hands lower on the grip for better control.
The ball should be positioned somewhere between the center of your stance to the inside of your back foot. The narrow stance will make the ball appear it is farther back in your stance. This should place your hands slightly to the left (in front) of the ball to encourage a downward strike.
The chip shot is typically a short backswing controlled by the arms. Longer chips require a bigger backswing. However, it is rare your hands and arms would swing more than waist high and allow your wrist to hinge in the backswing.
The motion is similar to the putting stroke. A putting stroke is created from the arms swinging in a pendulum motion while there is no lower body movement. Initiate a chip shot with your arms and shoulders. Try to limit your lower body from moving throughout the swing. Your weight remains on your front leg and foot throughout the shot. Your arms and shoulders control the chip shot with little to no wrist movement.
The hands must lead into the shot while the clubhead lags behind. This creates the proper downward angle of approach. Remember to make shorter swings and accelerate through impact. Also, try to keep a slow and consistent tempo throughout the shot. The proper fundamentals will create a shot that is typically lower and produces a consistent roll once the ball lands on the green.