How to "Throw" Your Chips in Golf
When you take some time to work on your chipping game, you want to get to the point where you feel like you are "throwing" the ball onto the green with your wedge. What does that mean? It means that you are striving to have the club act like an extension of your arms, and that you have such a good feel that you can accurately control the distance that you chip the ball each time.
That kind of control isn't easy to develop, so you will need to put in some practice time and follow some basic chipping guidelines. The quick tips below should help you get on track and gain more control over your chip shots. Put control in your hands. Some golf teachers encourage keeping your hands quiet during the chipping motion - but that isn't usually a good idea. Instead, try using your hands to control the club. If you can engage your hands early in your takeaway, you can get the club in a better position to hit down into the ball and get it to pop up nicely out of the grass.
- Soft grip. When you squeeze the club too tightly, it is hard to feel the club head and chip the ball the right distance. Practice keeping your grip pressure as light as possible while still keeping control of the club throughout the shot. A light grip pressure is a good thing to have throughout your golf game, but is especially important in the short game.
- Smooth tempo. Chip shots that are hit with a quick, fast tempo will be difficult to control properly. If you want to gain control over the distance of your chip shots, work on making a longer, more-even chipping motion that doesn't accelerate abruptly at any point. Think about having the same rhythm as you take the club back and bring it forward through the ball.
- Bend your knees. While this tip has nothing to do with your hands or the club itself, but it is very important nonetheless. Make sure that your knees remain slightly bent throughout the shot to make sure you get stay down and get the ball up and onto the green softly. If you stand up straight during the shot, you will lose some of the feel for the distance of the shot, and you might also have a hard time making clean contact on the back of the ball.