A long, flowing chipping stroke is never a good idea if the goal is to be consistently accurate with these shots. Take the club back too far, and you’ll be inclined to decelerate through impact and dump it.
Good chipping is all about acceleration, so let’s make sure your focus on keeping your speed up as the clubhead meets the back of the ball. To do that, I want you to give the ball a pop with your wedge. The follow-through is short, ending just after contact. There’s no need to keep the club moving any farther.
Give it a pop, and then stop.
It’s ball, then turf, then stop. Focus on that short follow-through, and your club will actually be speeding up as it reaches the ball. It’s like snapping a towel. You accelerate the towel in the direction you want it to snap, then hit the brakes hard. You can reach any spot on the green this way.
What’s with taking an open stance on chips?
I get this question all the time from students: what’s the point of setting up with the body open (pointing left of the target for right-handers) when you’re hitting short shots around the green? The answer lies in the question itself. Because it’s not a full swing, the body doesn’t have ample time to rotate into an open position like it does when you’re hitting shots off the tee or full irons from the fairway. So setting up open presets a good finish position. Although it’s a short shot, don’t just swing with your arms on chips and pitches. The body has to rotate towards the target. Setting up open helps promote that.
- David Leadbetter is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional and he spoke with Ron Kaspriske.