The saying holds true… drive for show and putt for dough but what about all of the clean up around the green? So many golfers duff the ball or skull it across the green and yet so many golfers avoid chipping practice or even a warm-up in this area of the game.
Here are some simple tips to help you dial in your chipping and improve your score out on the course.
TIP: Visualize the landing and aim with roll in mind.
Spend a little time analyzing the green before you make your chip or pitch. If it’s a downhill slope then think about landing your ball with room to roll. Think about the undulations in the green and if the ball is going to slope and roll right then aim your ball to land left of the hole. Forget going straight for the cup unless it’s a straight shot. If you spent just a hair more time analyzing the green and your landing spot prior to your shot you will leave yourself with a much better putt to finish the hole.
TIP: One wedge, one focus.
If you’re a wedge master then skip this tip… but most of us aren’t. Zero in on one wedge and practice practice practice. For most of us there isn’t much difference between a 56 and a 60 degree. Pick your favorite and really spend time warming up before your round with this one club. Become consistent with distance and trajectory. Most importantly, don’t add in another wedge until you’ve really mastered the craft.
TIP: Flops are hot but plops are not.
The flop shot is probably my most favorite shot to hit but that’s only because I became obsessed with learning how to do it. Sure it looks cool but if you don’t do it right your ball is going to plop two feet in front of you or you’re going to skull that puppy 60 yards the wrong direction. Skip the flop and go straight to your standard chip to get the ball on the green. No need to get fancy!
TIP: Quit cheating.
I don’t mean on your score I mean with your eyes. The biggest fault most golfers are guilty of is cheating to see where the ball goes too early. Keep your head down and focus on the ball and the grass. Train yourself to keep your head down until 2 solid seconds after you chip the ball. This will help you avoid the dreaded chunk or zinger. Sounds simple so try it!
Truthfully chipping comes down to practice. Spend some time before every round warming up beyond just the range and the putting green. Get out your wedge and get the feels. Chipping is all about the feels!