How to Chip Golf Ball

Golf chipping is a crucial part of a golfer’s short game. It involves hitting the ball from close range, with the goal of getting it onto the green and as close to the hole as possible. Chipping can be a challenging skill to master, but with some practice and the right technique, you can improve your game and lower your scores. In this article, we’ll explore how to chip a golf ball, step-by-step.

  1. Choose the right club: The first step in chipping a golf ball is selecting the right club. For most chip shots, a wedge is the best choice. The most common wedges used for chipping are the pitching wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. The pitching wedge is best for low chip shots that don’t require much loft, while the sand wedge and lob wedge are better suited for high chip shots that require more loft.
  2. Set up for the shot: Once you’ve selected your club, it’s time to set up for the shot. Start by positioning the ball in the center of your stance, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your weight should be evenly distributed on both feet. Next, open your stance slightly, so your front foot is pointing slightly towards the target. Finally, lean slightly forward, so your weight is on the balls of your feet.
  3. Take your backswing: With your set-up complete, it’s time to take your backswing. Keep your hands ahead of the ball throughout the swing, and hinge your wrists slightly to create a “L” shape with your left arm and club. Your backswing should be smooth and controlled, with a slight pause at the top to ensure proper tempo.
  4. Follow through: As you swing forward, keep your hands ahead of the ball and maintain a downward strike angle. Hit the ball with a descending blow, making contact with the ball first and then the ground. Your follow-through should be smooth and controlled, with the club finishing low and your weight shifting towards your target.
  5. Practice, practice, practice: The key to mastering the golf chip shot is practice. Start by practicing on the driving range, focusing on the technique outlined above. As you become more comfortable with the shot, move onto the golf course and practice in real-life situations. Remember to focus on the fundamentals, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Consistent practice and patience are essential to improving your golf chipping skills.
  6. Consider the terrain: When chipping a golf ball, it’s essential to consider the terrain. If you’re hitting from the rough, you may need to use a more lofted club and hit the ball harder to get it onto the green. Conversely, if you’re hitting from a tight lie, you may need to use less loft and hit the ball softer to prevent it from rolling too far.
  7. Read the green: Another important factor in chipping is reading the green. Take a look at the slope and speed of the green before taking your shot. If the green is sloping away from you, you may need to hit the ball harder to get it up the hill. If the green is sloping towards you, you may need to hit the ball softer to prevent it from rolling too far.
  8. Focus on distance control: Distance control is crucial when chipping a golf ball. To improve your distance control, practice hitting to specific targets at different distances. Start with short distances and work your way up to longer distances. Pay attention to how the ball reacts to your swing and adjust your technique accordingly.
  9. Practice different shots: Chipping isn’t a one-size-fits-all skill. Different shots require different techniques. Practice hitting different types of chip shots, including high lofted shots, low bump-and-run shots, and mid-range chip shots. By practicing different shots, you’ll be better prepared to handle any situation on the golf course.
  10. Stay positive: Finally, it’s essential to stay positive when chipping a golf ball. Don’t get frustrated if you miss a shot or don’t see immediate improvement. Golf is a game of patience and persistence. Keep practicing, stay focused on your technique, and maintain a positive attitude, and you’ll soon see improvement in your golf chipping skills.


Basic Chipping Techniques

TechniqueDescriptionWhen to UseClub SelectionCommon Mistakes
Basic ChipA simple, low-trajectory shot that rolls out toward the holeWhen you’re close to the green and need to get the ball on the putting surfacePitching wedge, sand wedge, or other high-lofted clubHitting behind the ball, decelerating on the downswing, not following through
Bump-and-RunA shot that skids along the ground and releases toward the holeWhen you have a lot of green to work with and the shot doesn’t require much height7- or 8-iron, depending on the distanceUsing too much wrist action, not hitting the ball with a descending blow, not aiming correctly
Flop ShotA high, soft shot that stops quickly on the greenWhen you need to carry a hazard or a bunker and stop the ball quicklyLob wedge or sand wedgeNot opening the clubface enough, hitting too hard or too soft, not using enough wrist hinge

Chipping Setups

SetupDescriptionWhen to UseClub SelectionCommon Mistakes
Square StanceFeet, hips, and shoulders are all aligned parallel to the target lineWhen you need a basic chip or bump-and-run shotPitching wedge or 7-iron, depending on the shotNot aligning the body correctly, not setting up the ball in the center of the stance
Open StanceFeet are aimed left of the target, hips and shoulders are slightly openWhen you need to hit a flop shot or a high, soft chipLob wedge or sand wedgeNot opening the clubface enough, not allowing for the ball to move forward in the stance
Closed StanceFeet are aimed right of the target, hips and shoulders are slightly closedWhen you need to hit a chip with a lot of backspinSand wedge or lob wedgeNot shifting the weight properly, not aiming correctly

Chipping Tips

TipDescriptionWhen to UseClub SelectionCommon Mistakes
Hit Down on the BallStrike the ball with a descending blow to create backspinWhen you need to get the ball to stop quickly on the greenPitching wedge, sand wedge, or lob wedgeNot hitting down enough, not making solid contact
Accelerate Through the ShotMaintain a smooth, accelerating swing through impactAll shotsAny clubDecelerating on the downswing, not following through
Choose the Right Landing SpotPick a spot on the green where you want the ball to land and roll outAll shotsAny clubNot picking a specific target, not accounting for the slope of the green

Common Chipping Mistakes

MistakeDescriptionHow to Fix
Hitting Behind the BallHitting the ground before the ball, causing a fat or chunked shotShift weight forward and hit down on the ball
Decelerating on the DownswingSlowing down the clubhead as it approaches the ball, causing a weak shotMaintain a smooth, accelerating swing through impact
Not Following ThroughStopping the clubhead abruptly after contact, causing a short or erratic shotSwing the club all the way to the finish position
Using Too Much Wrist ActionFlicking the wrists excessively, causing a lack of controlUse a more stable, body-driven swing
Not Choosing the Right ClubUsing the wrong club for the shot, causing poor distance control or trajectoryConsider the distance to the hole, the lie of the ball, and the type of shot required

Chipping Drills

DrillDescriptionWhen to UseClub SelectionCommon Mistakes
Three-Ball DrillHit three balls in a row to different landing spots, trying to get each one as close to the hole as possibleWarm-up or practiceAny clubNot focusing on hitting each shot as well as possible
Coin DrillPlace a coin or tee in front of the ball and try to hit the ball without moving the coin or teePractice hitting the ball first and avoiding skulling the ballAny clubNot focusing on hitting the ball first, hitting the coin or tee
Hula Hoop DrillPlace a hula hoop on the ground and try to hit chip shots that land within the hoopPractice accuracy and distance controlAny clubNot aiming for the center of the hoop, not adjusting for the slope of the ground
Gate DrillPlace two tees a few inches apart on the ground, creating a “gate” for the ball to pass throughPractice hitting the ball straight and on targetAny clubNot setting up the gate correctly, hitting one of the tees
10-Ball DrillPlace 10 balls around the green at varying distances and practice hitting chip shots to each onePractice distance control and shot selectionAny clubNot choosing the right club for each shot, not focusing on hitting each shot as well as possible


In conclusion, chipping a golf ball requires the right club selection, proper set-up, smooth backswing, and follow-through. Additionally, it’s essential to consider the terrain, read the green, focus on distance control, practice different shots, and maintain a positive attitude. With consistent practice and patience, you’ll soon become a skilled golfer with a strong short game.


How to Chip Golf Ball


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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