Junior golf can be an exciting time as you learn how to play competitive golf against fellow teenagers to test your skills under pressure.
To help you become a better player and have a chance to win golf tournaments, you should work hard at practicing your chipping skills.
This guide by golf instructor Nick Foy, founder of Foy Golf Academy, will share 7 important chipping drills for junior golfers and teens to practice. Add these chipping drills to your practice routine and stay consistent at practicing them over time and you’ll improve!
In addition to these junior golf chipping drills, we also have a step by step practice plan you can follow here.
7 Best Junior Golf Chipping Drills
Chipping Drill #1: Landing Spot for Distance Control
Do you currently own a golf wedge? Do you have a towel? If you answered yes to both questions then you can complete today’s easy, beginner level chipping drill to improve your short game.
In fact, this chipping drill will quickly build your distance control skills helping you land the golf ball exactly where you vision when looking at the green.
I’d like to introduce the Landing Spot Chipping Drill.
It can be done at both the golf course and at home in your backyard. You’ll be developing better contact skills with your wedge in addition to developing distance control.
But if you’re worried about taking divots in your backyard, then I suggest checking out this affordable golf chipping mat to set down in your yard before completing this drill.
Chipping Drill Instructions:
- Fold a towel into a smaller 1 foot by 1 foot target and set it down on the ground
- Take 2 large steps away from it so you’re about 6 feet away
- Place your golf balls down and chip from here to begin
- The goal is to chip the ball 6 feet and straight so that it lands on your towel
- Once you can hit the target towel 5 times a row, move back 3 more feet
- Repeat 6 feet, 9 feet, 12 feet, 15 feet, 18 feet, and 21 feet away from the target
This chipping drill is quite simple. We are not focusing on the roll of the golf ball but instead only focusing on how far we chip the ball through the air with our wedge.
The goal is to hone in your distance control so you can chip each ball the exact distance so that it lands on your target, which is a towel in the case. You can also use a manila folder that is flat and about a 12 inches by 8 inches in size.
Start in close at just 6 feet away and perfect chipping the ball 6 feet away from you. The target helps you judge not only distance but also accuracy as you try to keep the chip on line flying straight.
For closer distance chip shots, the ball doesn’t need as much power and therefore it shouldn’t fly very high.
These close distance shots will be lower trajectory chips and as you move further away from the target, the trajectory will naturally get higher as you use more power. because you’re not using much power.
Work on one distance until you get good enough to hit the target multiple times in a row. We recommend setting 5 as the standard but you can make it 10 if you want more of a challenge.
Then move back to the next distance and keep moving back until you complete each distance, hitting 5 times in a row.
You’ll feel the pressure which is great as it trains you to become a better chipper under pressure. You’ll feel more confident on the golf course when you face a chip shot to get up and down for par or birdie.
Overall, give this chipping drill a try and you’ll be amazed how a basic chipping drill can really improve your short game!
Drill #2: Eyes Closed Chipping Swing Tempo
Have you ever stood over your ball about to hit a chip shot and got really nervous? You start thinking about what if I chunk this chip shot?
And when you perform your chipping motion, you speed up the downswing, deviating from your normal, smooth tempo.
This rushed tempo ends up giving you too much power. The ball lands past your ideal landing spot, rolling well past the hole.
Today’s chipping drill will help you maintain smooth tempo, avoiding the temptation to rush it from nerves. You’ll feel better contact on your chips and reduce the skulls and chunks.
Chipping Drill Instructions:
- Position the golf ball off your rear foot
- Place most of your weight on the front foot (75%)
- Choke down on your wedge a several inches (stand closer than normal to compensate)
- Lean the shaft forward so your hands start ahead of the ball (use wrist hinge to set the club)
- Close your eyes
- Make a short chipping stroke and hit the ball
- Analyze the feel / feedback from chipping with your eyes closed before opening your eyes
This drill is effective because it takes away your vision from the chip shot. Instead, it relies purely on your fundamentals and forces you to trust your fundamental chipping stroke.
Normally, with your eyes open you get scared looking at the ball and change your stroke last second, not trusting it. With your eyes closed, you’ll be less inclined to go off visual sight and more off feel.
Hit 50 chips per day with your eyes closed and you’ll be amazed at the feel you develop as well as the quality ball striking. You’ll see a reduction in blades, skulls, chunks and you’ll feel less urge to rush your swing tempo in the short chipping motion.
If you can master chipping with your eyes closed then you’ll feel much more confident stepping up to a chip shot on a golf course during your round and doing it with your eyes open again. Recall the feel and trust the chipping stroke.
Drill #3: Hit the Fringe Chipping Drill – Distance Control
In this chipping drill, you’re going to master your distance control with different chipping clubs (wedges, 9-iron, 8-iron) to pull off par saving chip shots when you need them most!
One of the more common chip shots you’ll find yourself facing is one where there isn’t a lot of green between the fringe and the hole. This makes landing the ball on the green risky because it may not stop in time and roll past the hole a ways, leaving a long par putt.
Instead, having the skill of landing the ball on the fringe will be super important in your short game to kill most of the speed. But it takes great distance control to land the ball on the fringe which is why we will develop it in today’s chipping drill.
This golf shot is effective because the fringe kills the speed of the chip shot just enough so it can release onto the green and finish out with some roll that gets close to the hole for a short putt.
Make sure to watch each chip shot during the drill to get a feel for how much speed the fringe takes off the golf ball compared to the normal green.
You’ll develop feel at different distances away from the green on how much speed the ball will roll with after hitting the fringe first helping you chip shots closer to the hole.
What is Fringe?
The fringe portion of the green is usually a little longer length grass than the green. It’s also shorter than the rough which borders around the entire green.
Fringe gives greens aesthetic but also serve as a last chance to stop the ball before it rolls off a green into the rough.
It’s much easier grass to chip from than the rough since it’s shorter grass. Some golfers elect to putt off of fringe instead of chip.
Chipping Drill Instructions:
- Find a green with fringe
- Move back 10 feet away from it into the rough
- Chip a golf ball trying to land it on the fringe
- Once you land 3 in a row on the fringe, move back 5 feet
- Repeat from 15 feet, 20 feet, 25 feet, and 30 feet away
- Once you’re done, try a different club (Pitching Wedge, 9 iron, 8 iron)
- Learn the trajectory of each club and how much the ball tends to roll after landing on the fringe
This drill starts you closer to the fringe and moves you away to 30+ feet (10 yards) in the rough so you develop distance control.
You’ll face a variety of distances away from the green during a round of golf so mastering the ability to control distance and land the ball on the fringe will be a huge skill to have in your bag.
Anytime you face a tight pin location with not much green, you can turn to the fringe landing shot. Or if you need to adjust the distance and land the ball just on the green, you’ll have the distance control skill to be able to.
Using the fringe is also an easy way to judge a perfectly controlled chip shot. It’s a small margin of space so you can easily count each chip as a fail or success.
If we had you chipping to a small space on the green it would be hard to see if you hit that spot on the green when you get farther away from the green unless you marked it with a towel like in Chipping Drill #1: Towel Landing Spot above.
Drill #4: Chip a Coin into a Cup
Chipping is about great contact with the golf ball. Without good contact, your chip shots can fly across the green or never even make it out of the rough.
Ideally, we want a clean strike that pops the ball up off your club’s face and onto the green where it will continue to roll to the hole for a short, easy putt to save par.
The following chipping drill will teach you how to not only make better contact with the ball but also how to maintain club head speed into impact.
This helps you avoid the chunked chip shot that never makes it out of the rough, usually a result of a decelerating chip shot.
Chipping Drill Instructions:
- Scatter several nickels around on the carpet floor of your home
- Find an old wedge (the coins may scratch your club face)
- Set a cup in a central position in the room
- Go around to each coin, trying to chip it into the cup
- Chip each coin until you get them all in the cup
First, you’ll need to grab about 10 nickels or so lying around that’s loose change you have on hand. You can also do this chipping drill with dimes if you’d like to make the target even smaller or pennies work well too.
Set down a plastic (red solo) cup in your living room floor and scatter your coins around it from all directions and distances.
Using your old wedge (that you’re okay with getting scratched up from the coins) practicing chipping the coins up into the air with the goal of landing them in the cup.
This will take some practice but after trying this chipping drill you’ll begin to notice better ball striking on your chip shots as a small coin is much harder to make good contact with than a golf ball.
Drill #5: Trajectory Control with Your Wedge
Controlling the trajectory of your chip shot plays a huge factor in how much your chip shots roll out which is key to controlling the total distance of a chip shot.
This chipping drill will train you to hit different types of trajectory chips so you can pull off any shot in any scenario you may face on the golf course.
First, what are the 3 types of trajectories?
3 Types of Chipping Trajectory
Higher trajectory chips pop up high into the air and come down softer due to more backspin on the golf ball. This also means the ball won’t roll forward as much upon landing so you’ll need to land the ball closer to the hole to account for the less roll out.
Mid-trajectory chips are middle level ball flight about waist to shoulder high. These will usually have more roll out but it can vary on how far you are chipping the ball. Chipping farther away from you will give the ball more power to roll more upon landing. You may need to flight it down more on longer chips to get it rolling sooner.
Low trajectory chips will have the most roll because they don’t have as much backspin. Upon landing, they’ll usually roll out a longer distance than they flew through the air. Landing the ball before the half way point between you and the hole is usually most common for low trajectory chip shots.
Drill #6: The Chair – Chipping Drill
All you need for this chipping drill is a chair. The chair has 3 parts to it: the back, the seat, and the underneath space below the seat bottom.
You can practice this drill at home since it would look weird carrying a chair around on a golf course.
- Place a chair 6 feet away from you
- Chip a golf ball at it trying to hit the seat
- Now move backwards 6 more feet and try to hit the seat again
- Move back another 6-12 feet and chip again
- Your trajectory will have to change as you move distances
- Practice with different clubs and learn their trajectories
- Repeat the drill but this time hitting the back of the chair
- Repeat the drill again but chipping balls to land in the under neath space below the chair seat
This chipping drill is effective because you get to practice hitting different trajectory shots from different distances to get the ball to hit a certain part of the chair.
For example, a low trajectory chip won’t always work like when you need to hit the back of the chair. You’ll naturally have to raise up your trajectory to hit this area. As you move further away from the chair, you’ll also have to raise your chipping trajectory to fly it farther and still hit the back of the chair.
Practice moving the ball different positions in your stance to change trajectory. Moving it further back will lower the chipping trajectory and moving forward can raise it to produce higher lofted golf shots.
It’s also a good idea to get your baseline chip shot so you have an idea of what is normal for your particular club of choice. As you change clubs, repeat the baseline test to see trajectory for each type of club.
Baseline Chipping Test:
- Start about 6 feet away from the chair and hit a chip shot towards it with your normal chipping wedge you use most frequently.
- Analyze where this initial chip shot hits the chair as this will be your baseline for your chipping trajectory.
Drill #7: Chip to within the 3 Foot Circle
In this golf drill you are going to work on your pitching skills which can save pars and keep your scores lower on golf holes that you miss the green in regulation.
Pitching is one component of the short game and it takes place when you miss a green by several yards. You’ll face a chip shot that has to carry several yards over rough before it finally gets to the green.
This differs from a chip shot where you are right next to the green chipping onto the green without much rough between.
After working on this simple chipping drill, you’ll feel confident anytime you find yourself several yards away from the green needing to pitch it on close to the hole to save par.
Pitching Drill Instructions:
- Start off finding a practice hole to chip to
- Mark a 3 feet circle around the hole
- Pace off 5 yards, 10 yards, 15 yards, and 20 yards away from the fringe
- Hit 5 pitch shots from each distance, one group at a time
- After you hit your 5 pitch shots from one distance, remove the closest two balls and furthest two balls
- The ball that remains is the “average” distance of your 5 pitch shots
- The goal is for your average distance to fall inside that 3 foot circle to pass the drill
- Move to the next distance and repeat hitting 5 more shots
For this drill, we like to use a training aid to mark the 3 foot circle around the hole. There are chipping rings you can buy on Amazon that lay down on the green. They are very thin so the ball can roll over them without being affected much.
It also works to mark a circle around the hole using multiple ball markers (8-12). Once you’ve drawn your 3 foot circle, you’ll have a target zone to hit your pitch shots into.
Next locate the different distances away from the green’s fringe edge; 5 yards, 10 yards, 15 yards, 20 yards. This helps you practice multiple distances in case you pick the wrong club and leave your shot 15+ yards away from the green on the approach.
Mark each distance by laying down golf balls or dropping a golf club from your bag. The overall distance to the hole will be slightly longer since we are only measuring the distance from the edge of the green / fringe.
Next, analyze the pitch shot and where you think you need to land the ball on the green to account for roll out. With pitch shots, you are carrying the ball a longer distance so it has more speed and therefore more roll usually.
This forces you to learn how to control your chipping distance so you can land the ball on the green early, and let it roll most of the way to the hole.
However, some golf shots can require a higher lofted shot with more backspin you can fly closer to the hole and get it to stop quickly. Decide based on factors like slope of the green, distance between the hole and the edge of the green, as well as your lie in the rough or fairway.
Practice this drill trying to pass each distance by getting at least 3 balls inside the 3 foot circle. This makes your average distance fall within the circle when you remove the two balls closest and two balls furthest from the hole.
Measure your average distance and try to improve it over several weeks of doing this pitching drill. Mark it down on a worksheet like we have in our golf skills test here.
Golf Practice System for Lower Scores
Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.
Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.
Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.
Nick Foy, Instructor