Hands like Mickelson – 5 Chipping Tips for Instant Improvement
Phil Mickelson is a magician with a wedge in his hands around the greens.
In an ideal world we would all like to chip like Phil, but realistically that might not happen.
Chipping is very important part of the golf game, especially for high handicap golfers that tend to miss greens on a regular basis.
Having a good solid chipping technique will undoubtedly save you at least a couple of shots per round.
The 5 following chipping tips will get you one step closer to being Mickelson like around the greens.
- Stance that is open in relation to target at address
- Weight on left side
- Use the shoulders, not the wrists
- First things first – get that first chip on the green
- Visualize a landing spot
#1: Stance that is open in relation to target at address
With putting and the full swing it is important to set your body and shoulders up in a square position in relation to your target, with chipping that isn’t the case.
All the best players in the world set up to a chip shot with a stance that is open in relation to the target.
Having a stance that is slightly open will give your shoulders and hands space to move in.
Good rhythmic shoulder and hand movement will lead to crisply struck chip shots.
The most important byproduct of an open stance when chipping is the club path.
Addressing the ball with a stance that is open will promote a swing path that is out to in, resulting in the club cutting across the ball.
This motion of the club cutting across the ball will generate backspin, and as a result chip shots that will check up and stop.
#2: Weight on the left side
Amateur golfers are all terrified of blading a chip shot across the green, or even worse, covering the ball in dirt barely advancing the ball at all.
Many factors contribute to well struck chip shots, but one of the most important factors that is easy to fix, is having your weight in the correct spot.
This address position will ensure a good angle of attack before even hitting the chip shot.
For right handed players it is important to have at least 60% of their weight on their left side/foot at address.
Starting in the correct position is important, but it is even more important to maintain that weight on the left side throughout the shot.
#3: Use the shoulders, not the wrists
Use of the wrists and not the shoulders is the downfall of many amateur golfers when it relates to their chipping.
The perceived motion of having to use your wrists in order to get the ball airborne is a long way away from the truth.
The reason we chip with a wedge and not a 5 iron is to allow the club to get the ball in the air.
The loft on the club will get the ball in the air, all you have to do is make good contact with the ball, using the shoulders to move the club will ensure smooth crisp contact.
#4: First things first – get that first chip on the green
It might sound like a given that you want to chip the ball onto the green and as close to the hole as possible.
Ideally golfers all want to knock their chip shots close to the hole leaving themselves a simple tap in putt.
The reality of the matter is that it doesn’t always work out like that.
For higher handicap players/players uncomfortable with chipping, the main objective is to ensure that your next shot after a chip is a putt.
Often times players go directly at the flag when they don’t have a lot of green to work with, or when they have to go over a bunker.
In a lot of these instance they miss hit the shot due to the intimidation factor of its difficulty, the result is that they are facing another chip shot that is equally if not more difficult than the first one.
Swallow your ego and choose the safer shot, get that first chip shot onto the green and save a couple of shots per round simply by electing the smart option.
#5: Visualize a landing spot
Speed control is very important in chipping, a chip is similar to a long lag putt.
In order to get consistent speed on your chip shots it is very important to visualise where you want your chip shot to land.
Professional players will choose a spot on the green, either a piece of grass or a discoloration that they can identify when they stand over their chip shot.
After choosing their landing spot they will see the ball roll from there to the hole in similar fashion to a putt.
Visualizing a chip shot in this fashion will help with distance control and you might end up making a chip shot or two more often.
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Golf Drills & Practice Routines
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