9 Golf Chipping Tips To Optimize Your Short Game

To lower your handicap, you need to possess a solid short game that can rescue you from countless dropped shots. In this guide, you’ll find 9 golf chipping tips to help you improve around the greens.

How to get better at chipping:

  1. Loosen your grip
  2. Read the slope of the green
  3. Determine the angle of the clubface
  4. Rotate your body as you swing

These are a few areas that our guide will help you navigate. If you put these tips into practice, you will make more up and downs. Those of you who already know how to chip in golf can skip to the part about how to get better at chipping. 

However, beginners should keep reading to learn the fundamentals of chipping.

What Is Chipping?

golf ball near the hole

When you have left yourself a few yards from the green, you probably want to chip the ball towards the hole. The chip is a short stroke designed to bounce and gently roll toward the hole.

A chip can be played with a range of clubs. Most people use an 8 or 9 iron, some a wedge, and some even chip with a lofted hybrid or wood. In our article titled in search of the best clubs for chipping, we explore the different shot options around the green.

Remember not to confuse a pitch and a chip shot. A pitch is a higher shot with more carry and is normally used from a greater distance. A chip is a lower flying shot that rolls further than it travels in the air.

Read more: Chip Shot vs Pitch Shot – When To Play Each Shot and Why?

Basic Golf Chipping Tips 

To start with our golf tips on chipping — chipping requires a different approach to your normal swing. Your stance should be narrow, similar to your putting stance. 

Keep most of the weight on your leading (front) foot. Position the ball in the middle or slightly back of your stance. You want to be relatively close to the ball.

The aim is to create a fairly steep angle of attack and strike the ball directly. You want to hit the ball first, not the turf.

Remember that the intention is for the ball to roll, so you need to decide on the spot where you want it to land.

Some golfers prefer the standard grip, some use their putting grip, and others use a unique grip for chipping. It is about what works best for you and delivers the best results.

The basic swing is a pendulum motion similar to a putting stroke, but it does use more hands. Try not to hinge your wrists, and don’t forget to follow-through equal to your backswing.

These are general guidelines, and each golfer has a unique style. What is important is that you find what works best for you and practice until your distance and direction are consistent.

How To Get Better At Chipping 

man in shorts just chipped ball

Now that you understand the fundamentals, you are ready to learn 9 top chipping tips.

The short answer to how to chip better is to increase your time on the chipping green. The more you practice your chipping game, the better you understand when to open or close the clubface. And what the ball is likely to do when it lands.

However, you need to employ the correct chipping technique to be successful. Which I will talk you through below.

1) Loosen Your Grip

Feel is critical for accurate chipping, and a tight grip will reduce this. Loosen the grip a bit, and soften the hands so that you can really feel the shot.

2) Work On Your Tempo

Many players find it hard to achieve the ideal tempo on chip shots. Consider the club you are using, the type of shot you are playing, and give it a gentle nudge in the right direction. The best way to perfect this, once again, is through practice.

3) Identify The Correct Clubface Angle

If you intend to play a low-flying chip that runs longer than it flew, keep your hands in front of the ball and position it back of center in your stance. That will strengthen the loft angle to send your ball on a low trajectory.

Conversely, to get your ball up high and to stop rapidly, you need to open your clubface. Position your hands behind the ball, and place it slightly forward in your stance to catch it on the up.

4) Approach Your Aim As You Would With A Putt

The gradient of the green is just as important as when you are putting because the ball will roll a significant distance. 

You need to get down, read the green, and aim your shot accordingly. The perfect chip will be useless if the green works against the direction you send the ball.

Also, give some thought to the ideal place to putt from. While it would be great to chip it in, chances are you will still have to putt. Make it easier on yourself with a bit of planning.

5) Rotate Your Body

Many people think there is no need to rotate your hips on chip shots. But to make solid contact, you still need to rotate them as you swing. It will be less movement than a full swing but do not try and keep your body rigid.

6) It Is All in the Left Arm (For Right-Handed Players)

The direction and control are based mainly on the left arm and wrist.

Experiment with different ball positions to understand how it impacts each shot.  The ball should often be placed nearer to the back foot.

7) Play the Shot With Commitment

While very different from a full swing, you still need to accelerate through the ball. The yips are not just when putting, and many players hold back when chipping with disastrous results.

8) Try To Perfect Your Chipping With One Club

While many golfers, including pro golfers, use several different clubs for chipping. They have the luxury of years of experience and many hours to practice. This is something most of us do not have. 

To simplify things, focus on one club and work on using it effectively over a range of distances.

This might sound a bit limiting, but it is better to be confident with one club than average with a range of clubs. You can always expand the selection down the line.

9) Practice Practice Practice

As you can see, this has been a common thread in this article. While we all love to gun balls off the tee at the driving range, invest time in your short game. 

Golf is an easier game to play when you can chip confidently. 

A slight adjustment in your weight or stance might be all that is holding you back. The only way you to excel in this is to practice. The great thing is that you can do it anywhere. Even if you only have a small space, you can quickly and easily set up a target and practice. All you need is a few balls.

There are numerous golf chipping drills that you can use to improve chipping, but it really just comes down to getting the stance, angle, weight, and tempo down. Practice will give you confidence and mean fewer two putts and even the odd impressive chip in.


man chipping on golf course

What Are The Best Golf Chipping Nets?

In our post on the Best Indoor Golf Net, we found the Spornia Pop Up golf chipping net to be the best in this category. It is affordable, adjustable, and features three target areas. You can set it up indoors or outdoors in your yard, leaving you with no excuse not to practice.

What Are The Best Golf Chipping Mats?

Relilac’s tri-turf hitting mat is an ideal option to help you practice our chipping golf tips. The tri-turf gives you the option of hitting off the artificial turf equivalent of the fairway, rough and green. This enables you to hone chipping skills from various lies at an affordable price. 

An alternative option is the Wosofe Golf Mat. It also offers three artificial turf types in one.

What Is The Rule Of 12 In Chipping?

According to Golf.com, the Rule of 12 is an easy way to determine which club to use. In other words, if the ball needs to fly further than it rolls, then you want to hit a weaker lofted club, like a sand wedge or lob wedge.

Contrarily, if the ball needs to roll further than the distance it flew, you may consider a 7 or 8-iron. 

The Rule of 12 formula requires you to divide the distance of roll versus ball flight. Subtract your answer from 12, and choose the corresponding club.

In this video, Top 100 teacher Eric Johnson provides an example of the rule. He counts the paces from his ball to his target landing zone and onto the cup. He calculates 4 paces for flight and 12-paces for roll. 

He divides 12 by 4 and is left with 3. He finally subtracts 3 from 12 and is left with 9. As a result, he decided to play his shot with a 9-iron.

12 Rule Formula

Distance of Roll ÷ Distance of Flight = Distance Ratio

12 – Distance Ratio = Recommended Club

How Can I Improve My Chipping?

Learning how to improve chipping around the green requires practice and time. Employ the 9 chipping tips that we have provided, and learn how to read the speed and slope of the greens.    

What Club Do Pros Chip With?

Most pros will use different clubs to chip with depending on the shot that needs to be played. If they need to get the ball high and stop it dead, they may hit a lob or sand wedge. But, when they need to play a bump and run, they may use a 7-iron for its additional loft.

Why Is My Chipping So Bad?

There are numerous reasons why your chipping is so bad. For starters, you may not be factoring in the gradient of the green and its speed. Or your rhythm is completely off.

Furthermore, you might hunch over the ball and aren’t making clean contact. Plus, you may never spend time on the chipping green and lack practice.

Plus, you may never spend time on the chipping green and lack practice.

Final Thoughts

That concludes our lecture on golf chipping tips. You now have the knowledge. So you can go apply it. Instead of focusing on distance in your long game, spend more time on the chipping green. 

There are many variations of the chip shot. Therefore you need to learn what works for you and when to play the different shots.

The benefits of a superior chipping game will reflect on your scorecard. Instead of leaving 10-foot testers, you will enjoy more tap-ins.

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Matt has played golf since he was 4 years old and has written over 150 articles at GolfSpan since 2021. Matt specializes in product reviews using his postgraduate degree in Sports Marketing from Johan Cruyff Institute. Matt has a handicap index of 10.8 and currently plays weekly at Pilar Golf Course near his home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also loves his Callaway Odyssey Exo Rossie putter and likes a pepper steak pie with curry gravy at the turn. You can connect with him on LinkedIn

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