"Take Back" Your Chip Shot
By Erika Larkin on 10/10/12
Many of my students with chipping woes are happy when I tell them that there are a few easy fixes that can really help and many times go overlooked.

  1. Stand close enough to the ball so you can choke down on the grip and stand the shaft up a little steeper than at its natural address position. Many golfers stand too far away and this creates a wide flat arc that does not perform well on chip shots. Standing closer and even a little taller if needed will help set you up for success and a better swing path.

  2. Bad setup

  3. Take-back the golf club so it follows a path similar to a putting stroke; straight back and straight through. Tip #1 will help you accomplish this too, but it still helps to be aware of this pattern and how it affects the hit.

  4. Good setup

  5. Work with an alignment rod on the ground in between your ball and feet so that can serve as a reminder for proper swing path (#2). See your club head work back in front of the rod to avoid an inside take away.

These simple tips should really help and you should see cleaner and more solid contact for your bump and runs around the greens.

Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virigina. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine... and she's oobgolf's newest columnist. She will be writing on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, email her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
Yes, it is high time we took back the chip shot. Why should the chip shot be a source of misery? Unless you strike the ball like Ben Hogan, chipping is an essential part of the game, so better get used to it. We need to once and for all shore up our chipping technique so we can look forward to, not dread, our chip shots.

I would humbly add that putting your weight mostly on your the foot and leaning slightly toward the target is fundamental to clean contact. In general good contact is pretty much prescribed at setup.
Torleif Sorenson says:
So, Nathan, was Erika's instruction the reason you chipped in three times in one round last month? :-P
Matt F says:
Have to agree beef. I was taught to "lean" on the front foot for better contact and to make a putting stroke.
GBogey says:
I think of it as more of a weight on left foot but my upper body leans into a "K" position back to the right so that my body is centered. I also think it is important to have a narrow stance - I find that this is where I often get off track when my chipping gets off.
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