Better chipping practice

Here’s a simple and easy way to improve your chipping and pitching game.

If you’re lucking enough to have your own synthetic golf green it will be super easy, but even if you don’t, you can improvise with this drill for equally great results.

Last weekend I was coaching a young kid and wanted him to stop thinking so much about his technique and results and just let his game flow (because this is when he’s really dangerous). I wanted to activate his instincts and let his natural talent shine through. While it would have been easy to tell him all the normal rubbish like,

– ball back in the stance
– hands forward
– weight forward
Etc

I knew this would stifle his learning and enjoyment. So instead of talking I drew three boxes on my golf green and asked him to chip the ball into the first box. At first there was some hesitation because he couldn’t figure out how to get the ball to finish in the box. His first chip was a nasty jab.

Cameron: My mistake mate. I don’t want the ball to finish in the box. I want you to chip the ball so it flies into the box on the full. Where it finishes is not of concern, just fly the ball into the first box please.

The added clarity was all that was needed. The young man was away and had a clear objective of the task.

He settled over the ball, took a brief peek at the target and then chipped the ball. It landed in the middle of the box.

“OK, great. Now chip into the third box”, was my reply.

Again, this young golfer didn’t fluff about. With a beautifully fluid approach he hit the ball so it landed in the box. And guess what?

His technique was perfect. He did all the things that any technical coach would want him to do. But, and this is important, he did this all without input from me. The power of this can’t be underestimated.

We then spent 40 minutes or so hitting all sorts of different shots into the box.

High shots
Low shots
Different clubs

It was a short and sharp training session that was a lot of fun. He became so confident that he even challenged me to a chipping contest. And the more he does this kind of practice the better he’ll get. He will get return on his investment of time instead of going around in circles looking for tips or technical advice.

See the image below.

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1 Comment

  • Adam

    Reply Reply October 25, 2017

    Chipping for me is simple when I use different clubs for different situations. For me, I get the ball close almost every time. I just never hole the putt. From 3 to 5 feet, I’m toast.

    Normally the greens at my course play quicker than others in my area, so it can be a sand wedge sometimes from 30 feet rather than a 9 iron, but either way, I play for plenty of roll.

    I’ve always had good chipping technique, since I started practicing it more often 5 years back. I didn’t have the ball position back, but I did make consistent contact even with the ball position in the middle of my stance. All feel I guess.

    With the ball way back in my stance the ball rolls too much, so when I have a shot over a mound with a lot of green to work with, I’d normally place the ball more forward, to get it over the mound, then gauge the roll afterwards.

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