October 23rd, 2012 by Tyler Pringle
If you’ve played golf, then you know how frustrating it can be to mishit a chip shot. A great drive and a solid fairway shot can be wasted by a poorly executed chip. Good, crisp chip shots are essential to shooting low scores, and like with any shot in golf, accurate strokes require the proper set-up at address. Many players want to simply hit the ball, but the fact is, if you are set up to fail, you will. So take some time and follow these simple steps in addressing a chip shot before you even take a swing.
1. Choke Down on the Grip
The proper address actually starts with the proper grip. After applying one of the three common grips in golf, make sure to choke down on the club. This will give you less club to maneuver and thus more control over the shot.
2. Open Stance
Your stance should be slightly open at address with a chip shot. This means moving your left foot (for right-handers) slightly away from the ball. This should also open your hips slightly and will help create solid contact with the ball.
3. Weight up Front
You’ll want to shift your weight slightly to your front foot. Drives and longer shots require a weight shift with the full swing, but with a chip we don’t want a lot of movement. Keeping more weight on the front foot will allow you to follow through with a short, swift stroke without much shifting.
4. Ball Towards the Back
The ball at address should be towards the back of your stance, just in front of your back foot. This is where you want to make contact to keep the ball low to the ground and on target. Generally, the further back the ball is in your stance, the lower trajectory its flight-path will take and vice-versa. This is why punch shots (which are intended to be very low) require the ball to be directly in front of the back foot.
5. Hands in Front
Your hands should be slightly in front of the ball at address when you put the club down. This technique will hold the clubface and take loft off the shot to keep the ball low. Remember, the purpose of a chip, unlike a pitch, is to keep the ball low to the ground with the goal that it will roll out on the green similar to a putt.
Accurate chip shots take the pressure off your putter by leaving you easy, makeable putts. After employing these steps to your set-up, you will feel confident pulling those wedges out of the bag and feel good when you see strokes melt off your score.