How to Chip in Golf

To get the ball close to the pin from around the green, you need a good chip shot in your arsenal. Here’s what you have to do to execute a perfect simple chip.

Reading the Green

Chipping is similar to putting in many ways. Although you’re going to see the ball get some air when you chip it, once it lands, it will roll on the green just like a putt. In order for you to hit a good chip, you need to know how the break of the green will influence your ball’s roll. Read the green’s slope and grain just like you would on a putt, by getting low behind the ball and deciding your intended line and landing spot for distance.

Setting Up

There are a few things you should do when setting up for a chip shot that you would rarely do anywhere else on the golf course.

  1. Set up a bit closer to the ball than you would for a normal, full swing.
  2. Open your stance so that you face the target a bit more.
  3. Put most of your weight onto your front foot, causing you to lean forward.
  4. Press your hands ahead of the ball to close the face of the club.

When you’re finished setting up to the ball, you should notice that your shoulders, arms and forward-leaning club shaft form the shape of a lower-case ‘y.’

The Shot

Keys to a perfect chip shot:

  • Keep your weight shifted onto your front foot throughout the shot.
  • Just like in putting, you don’t want to use your wrists while chipping. Instead, move that lower-case ‘y’ back and forth as one unit.
  • Keep your wrists locked and let the handle of the club lead through the ball. This will ensure that you “trap” the ball between the club’s face and the ground, which is how to get the perfect impact.
  • Also as with a putting stroke, make sure to control the distance of your shot by the length of your backswing and follow through, not by the speed of your clubhead. Keep a steady rhythm back and through the ball by taking the club back and letting it through the ball at about the same distance.
  • Keep your head still through the stroke. Looking up too soon can cause you to mishit the ball.


The next time you’re on a practice green, try chipping the ball from short distances. Set up on the fringe about ten feet from a pin, and try to get your chips within a foot of the hole. You’ll probably end up sinking a few. Once you’ve got the stroke down, all the longer chips will need is a longer take-away and follow-through.

Remember, the chip is the perfect shot to use from around the green. If you need more distance than what comes from a non-wrist chip, you need to learn a different type of shot: Pitching.

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