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How to Chip in Golf for Beginners: Step-by-Step Guide

Chipping is a crucial skill in golf that can significantly impact your short game and overall scores. For beginners, learning how to chip effectively can be challenging but incredibly rewarding. This guide will provide you with a step-by-step approach to chipping, including proper setup, technique, and practice drills to help you improve your chipping skills and lower your scores.

What is Chipping in Golf?

Chipping in golf refers to short, controlled shots played from close to the green. The goal is to lift the ball into the air for a short distance before it lands and rolls toward the hole. Chipping is typically used when the ball is too close to the green for a full swing but too far for a putt.

Why Chipping is Important for Beginners

Effective chipping can save you strokes by getting the ball closer to the hole from difficult positions. It can help you recover from missed greens and improve your overall short game performance. Here are some reasons why chipping is essential for beginners:

  1. Improves Scoring: Good chipping can turn potential bogeys into pars or even birdies.
  2. Builds Confidence: Mastering chipping can boost your confidence around the greens.
  3. Versatility: Chipping skills are useful in various situations, from tight lies to rough conditions.

Step-by-Step Guide to Chipping in Golf for Beginners

Follow these steps to learn how to chip effectively:

1. Proper Setup

Setting up correctly is crucial for a successful chip shot. Here’s how to get into the right position:

  • Stance: Stand with your feet close together, about shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower. This narrow stance helps with balance and control.
  • Ball Position: Position the ball slightly back in your stance, closer to your trailing foot (right foot for right-handed golfers). This encourages a downward strike on the ball.
  • Weight Distribution: Distribute your weight more on your front foot (left foot for right-handed golfers). Aim for about 60-70% of your weight on your front foot.
  • Grip: Use a standard grip but choke down slightly on the club for better control. Ensure your grip pressure is light to maintain a smooth swing.

2. Choosing the Right Club

Choosing the right club for chipping depends on the distance and type of shot you need to play. Common clubs used for chipping include:

  • Wedges (Pitching, Sand, Lob): Wedges are versatile and can be used for various chipping situations. A pitching wedge is suitable for longer chips, while a sand wedge or lob wedge is ideal for higher, softer shots.
  • Short Irons (7-9 Irons): Short irons can be used for lower, running chip shots. These clubs are useful when you want the ball to roll more after landing.

3. Chipping Technique

Mastering the technique is essential for consistent chipping. Here’s how to execute a proper chip shot:

  • Backswing: Take a short, controlled backswing. The length of your backswing should match the distance you want the ball to travel. Keep your wrists firm and avoid excessive wrist movement.
  • Impact: Strike the ball with a descending blow, making contact with the ball first and then the ground. This creates a crisp, clean strike and ensures the ball gets airborne.
  • Follow-Through: Maintain a short follow-through, with the clubhead finishing low and pointing towards the target. Avoid a full, high follow-through typical of longer shots.

4. Common Chipping Mistakes to Avoid

Beginners often make some common mistakes when chipping. Here’s how to avoid them:

  • Using Too Much Wrist: Excessive wrist action can lead to inconsistent strikes. Focus on using your shoulders to control the swing.
  • Poor Weight Distribution: Ensure your weight is on your front foot throughout the swing. Shifting weight to the back foot can cause thin or fat shots.
  • Improper Club Selection: Choose the right club for the situation. Using a lob wedge for a long chip can lead to poor distance control.

5. Practice Drills for Chipping

Practicing regularly is key to improving your chipping skills. Here are some effective drills to help you master chipping:

  • Hula Hoop Drill: Place a hula hoop or a target circle around the hole. Practice chipping balls into the target area to improve accuracy and distance control.
  • One-Handed Drill: Practice chipping with just your lead hand (left hand for right-handed golfers). This drill helps develop a smooth, controlled swing and reduces wrist action.
  • Distance Control Drill: Place markers or tees at various distances from your chipping area. Practice hitting chips to each marker, focusing on controlling the distance and roll of the ball.

6. Applying Your Chipping Skills on the Course

Transferring your practice skills to the course can be challenging. Here are some tips for applying your chipping skills during a round:

  • Assess the Lie: Evaluate the lie of the ball and the surrounding conditions before choosing your club and shot type. Adjust your setup and technique based on the lie.
  • Visualize the Shot: Visualize the trajectory and landing spot of the ball before you chip. This mental practice can improve your focus and execution.
  • Stay Positive: Chipping can be unpredictable, especially for beginners. Stay positive and learn from each shot, even if it doesn’t go as planned.

7. Advanced Chipping Techniques

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can explore advanced chipping techniques to further enhance your short game:

  • Bump and Run: This technique involves hitting a low, running chip that spends more time rolling than in the air. Use a lower-lofted club like a 7- or 8-iron.
  • Flop Shot: A high, soft chip that lands softly and stops quickly. Use a lob wedge and open the clubface to create more loft.
  • Spin Control: Advanced players can learn to control the spin of their chip shots to stop the ball quickly on the green. This requires precise technique and practice.


Chipping is a vital skill for golfers of all levels, and mastering it can significantly improve your short game and overall scores. By following the steps outlined in this guide, beginners can develop a solid chipping technique, avoid common mistakes, and practice effectively. Remember, consistent practice and a positive mindset are key to becoming a proficient chipper. With dedication and effort, you’ll be chipping like a pro in no time. Happy golfing!

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