Now, remember what a Chip Shot is: a ball that hops and rolls! Once you have practiced your basic chip shot and have the stroke fairly comfortable and “consistent”. It is now time to go practice your distance control to get the ball can get close to the hole. There are three ways to control your distance when you are chipping:
1. Length of swing: Remember the chip shot is using just your shoulders. So therefore you can only swing as big as your shoulders can take you which is about 1/4 of a swing or less. This is meant to be a small precise swing – so make sure to keep it this way!
2. Club Selection: I would personally only choose 2-3 clubs to provide accurate distance length. More than this can be quite confusing. My suggestion is:
- Sand Wedge: Short shots with the littlest amount of roll
- Pitching Wedge: Medium Shots that will provide more roll
- Longer Iron such as a 9 or 8 iron: Long shots that will provide a lot of roll
3. Ball Position: Changing ball position can help with getting the ball even closer to the hole when the first two options aren’t quite getting you close enough
- Middle Ball position will give you loft and roll
- Back Ball Position will give you less loft and more roll
- This ball position is basically what we know as a Bump and Run Shot
**Check out my previous blog about Back Ball position for more information
After you have understood how all three of these things. It is time to go to the practice green and try it all out. My suggestion on practicing is grabbing 3-5 golf balls and pick one flag on the green as your target. Take the first ball and go with your first instinct. What club, what length of swing, and what ball position – then execute the shot. Take a minute after you hit the ball and check it out. Where did it go? What can you fix: stroke, distance, direction. Then take the second ball, change something and see if it worked. Grab the third ball etc. After about 5 balls, you should have a good idea on what worked and what didn’t. Go pick them up and go to another spot or another hole. What we are trying to accomplish is working on your first instinct and choosing the proper tools first to get it right next to the hole to walk away with a one putt! Practice Practice Practice!