Golf gets much easier when you can chip the ball close to the hole. There’s less stress on approach shots and worrying about missing the green. Instead you’ll feel confident knowing if you miss the green, you can still score well thanks to your strong chipping skills.
Chipping is simply hitting the golf ball from the rough around the green so that it lands onto the green and rolls close to the hole. You might even get lucky and chip it in more frequently as your chipping skills grow..
Chipping is the ultimate short cut to a lower golf score. It’s what helped me become a scratch golfer even though my golf swing wasn’t the best and I didn’t hit the farthest drives.
You could miss every green during your 18 hole round of golf, but still walk away scoring par 72 for the day if you can convert every chip shot into an easy par putt.
Successfully chipping close to the hole and then making the following putt is also known as an up & down conversion. It’s an important statistic to track so you can see your improvement over time as you work on practicing your chipping and putting.
This guide shares a massive list of the best golf chipping drills to practice for improving your short game and if you enjoy the chipping drills below, please share this article with a friend!
25 Best Chipping Drills for Beginners
Drill #1: Landing Spot for Chipping Distance Control
In this drill, you’ll place a towel on the ground or use a chipping circle ring to hit to. The goal is to hit the landing spot from various distances away. You can set a number of reps such as 10 from 5 yards away then move back to 10 yards away and do another 10 chips.
Work your way back further and further until you get good at controlling distance of the chip from further away from the green.
Drill #2: The Pull It Back Drill
Find a hole to chip to on the green and do your best to get the chip as close to the hole as possible. After you hit the chip, grab your putter and go to the ball.
Move the ball backward 1 putter length so it get’s even farther from the hole. Then try to sink the putt to complete the up and down.
This drill will put pressure on your chipping skills so you focus on getting the ball even closer to the hole since you know your putt will be getting 3 feet longer when you pull it back one putter length.
Drill #3: Chipping to the Fringe for Distance Control
Landing the ball on the fringe is necessary for some golf pitch shots when the hole is close to the edge of the green and doesn’t leave much room to stop the ball quickly, even with a flop shot.
Instead, you’ll want to become skilled at chipping the ball so it lands on the fringe first, then bounces onto the green and finishes its roll to the hole. Using the fringe as a landing zone will help you build your distance control with how far you chip from various distances away from the green.
Drill #4: Hole the Chip Shot
Work on chipping the ball into the hole more frequently by actually trying to hit “chip ins.” You’ll find your misses end up pretty close to the hole still too, leaving you a short putt for the up and down.
When you focus more on making the chip shot, you forget about negative thoughts like leaving it short and your chipping results actually get better with more balls finishing closer to the hole overall.
Drill #5: Change the Lie
For this drill, you’ll be working on hitting chip shots from different lies. Start by giving yourself an easy lie by placing the ball on the fringe and hitting a chip shot to a hole.
Then move back into the rough and burry your ball down deeper into the rough and attempt to hit to the same hole.
Then try a “fluffed up” lie where the ball is sitting higher on top of the rough.
Continue on finding different types of lies you can create so you get practice hitting all kinds of shots. It’s a great chipping drill to build your IQ so you’re not nervous when you find different lies out on the golf course.
- Uphill lies
- Downhill lies
- Ball sitting in a divot
- Ball below your feet
- Ball above your feet
- Sloped sand shot lie
- Fried egg bunker shot
Drill #6: Chip with Multiple Clubs
Practice hitting chip shots with your other clubs in the bag in addition to your wedges. This means hitting chips with a 9 iron, 8 iron, etc so you can see how they perform around the greens.
You may find you like playing a bump and run style of chip shot better with a 9 iron than your current chipping wedge. By getting experience with other clubs in the bag, you’ll open up new shot selection options when choosing what kind of shot to play around the greens.
Drill #7: Chip to a Tee
One of the best ways to narrow your focus is to substitute a tee with the hole on the putting green.
Instead of chipping towards a hole, place a tee in the ground and chip to the tee. This will make chipping to a hole feel much easier when you revert back since your brain has been focused on a smaller target (the tee).
A tee is also nice because you can customize distances easier. You can set the tee 5 feet away to start then 10 feet, 15 feet, 20 feet, etc. to give you many distances to chip to on the green and build distance control faster.
Drill #8: Average Chipping Distance to the Hole
Start at 10 feet away from a hole and hit 10 chips to the hole, then calculate the average distance to the hole for those 10 shots.
Move back to 20 feet away from the hole and repeat the drill to calculate the average distance from the hole you have left after chipping from 20 feet. Repeat this at 30 feet, 40 feet, 50 feet, and so on until you’ve done it up to 100 feet away (33 yards).
Look at your average distance from each of these different distances to see where you need to spend more time chipping from to get your distance to the hole cut down lower. The goal is to get chips within 3 feet of the hole but the average distance should be 6 feet or less ideally.
Drill #9: Downhill & Uphill Chipping Practice
Find a chip shot that will be going downhill on the green so you can practice how to land the ball to account for the extra roll that will result with the green being sloped downhill. Downhill chips are tough but if you can master them, then your scores will reflect it.
Repeat this drill by finding an uphill chip shot that requires you to land a chip shot differently to account for uphill slope that will slow the ball quicker. Learn what carry vs roll ratio is required to get the ball to the hole when it’s an uphill hole.
Drill #10: Par 18 Chipping Game
This chipping drill involves setting up various up and down scenarios around the green where par is 2 shots (1 chip and 1 putt).
Try to hit the chip shot close to the hole and then go sink the putt, trying to finish in just 2 strokes for that hole. Repeat this drill 9 times for a total of 9 holes played as par 2’s and see if you can score 18 or less strokes.
Drill #11: Headcover Drill
Work on better contact on chip shots by placing a headcover or towel behind the ball a few inches. This will force you to hit the ball with better contact to avoid the headcover.
If you drop the club into the ground too far behind the ball (chunk) then you’ll hit the headcover. This chipping drill will help you eliminate the chunks from your chipping stroke and make better contact overall.
Drill #12: One Handed Chips
Practice hitting chips with just one hand on the club. Take your normal grip and then remove one hand (trail hand) so that the lead hand can hit the chip all by itself.
Get really good at making one handed chips and it will teach you the proper way to chip without flopping the wrists or decelerating into impact. Switch hands and work on one handed chips with just the other hand as well.
Drill #13: Total Distance to the Hole
Every chip shot you hit will have a distance remaining to the hole. The goal is to cut this down so you can have shorter, makeable putts to help lower your golf score.
Set a limit for how far away you can be from the hole like 3 feet or 6 feet after each chip shot. But rather than hitting one at a time and calling it pass or fail, set a total distance limit for an entire bunch of balls.
For example, if you want 3 feet on average and you have 10 chips to hit, then the total distance will get set at 30 feet (3×10) for the whole group.
Now hit all 10 chips, and calculate how far each chip is from the hole. The total combined distance from these 10 chips added together can’t exceed the 30 foot limit you set.
Drill #14: 3 Clubs, 1 Hole
Pick a hole to chip to and hit the same chip shot 3 times to the hole, but switching clubs each time so that you try it with 3 different clubs.
See which club did the best for that hole, hitting the ball the closest.
Repeat this drill for several holes, moving around the green from different angles to change the chip shot and hole location. See which club stands out as the clear winner that does the best consistently at getting the ball closest to the hole.
You may find a new club in the bag that hits chips better than your current chipping club.
Drill #15: Hop and Stop
Work on learning how to hit the high spin chip shot that does one hop and then puts on the brakes quickly. It’s a beautiful shot to watch professional golfers hit on TV and can be learned by amateurs.
To get a high spin chip, you’ll need to play a high spin golf ball that’s designed for short game spin generation. You’ll also need to work on striking the ball with contact that generates lots of spin. This means, hitting with some speed and using a higher lofted club.
And it also helps to have favorable course conditions such as softer greens that help the ball grab quicker and put on the brakes. Hard greens will tend to cause the ball to bounce a few times and then roll out more.
Drill #16: Darts (Golf’s Version)
Darts (the golf version) is a game where you score points based on how close you hit the ball to the hole on your chips. Set up various circles around the hole at 3ft, 6ft, 9ft, and 12ft to create a scoring zone.
As the chip shot comes to rest within different distances of the hole, you can score between 1-10 points. More points awarded for the closer the ball ends to the hole.
- 1 point for getting the ball inside 12 feet
- 2 points for getting the ball inside 9 feet
- 3 points for getting the ball inside 6 feet
- 4 points for getting the ball inside 3 feet
- 10 points for chipping into the hole (0 feet)
Drill #17: Short, Medium, Far Holes
This drill you will pick out a short distance hole, a medium distance hole, and a far away hole on the practice green to chip to. The goal is to get all 3 chips, 1 to each hole, within 3 feet of the hole or less.
Hit a chip shot to the short hole, and if it’s within 3 feet, then hit the medium chip next. If it’s within 3 feet, then hit the long chip shot to the far hole next.
At anytime if you fail to get all 3 within the 3 foot circle, you have to restart. This adds pressure to try and get 3 in a row.
Once you pass the drill, change locations and chip again to these holes from somewhere else to make a new challenge for yourself.
Drill #18: The 50 Ball Test
If you want to know how skilled you are at chipping to a particular hole or distance away from you, use the 50 ball test to get an idea.
For this drill, find a hole on the green and chip 5 balls at a time to the hole. Count how many out of 5 end up within 3 feet or less of the hole. Repeat this for 10 sets so you chip a total of 50 chip shots to the same hole.
Count how many out of 50 you successfully got close to the hole and determine your success rate percentage. Ideally you should aim for 75% or better to be considered good at this distance of a chip shot.
Change the shot to a new hole and test yourself again with another 50 reps. Find out how you fare to short holes, medium far away holes, and really far away holes.
You may find that as the hole gets further away from you on the green, your stats go down.
Drill #19: Hinge and Hold Chipping
If you find your chipping stroke to be inconsistent or you find that you are flipping the hands during the stroke, then try the hinge and hold chipping method that Phil Mickelson has championed.
For this chipping technique, you’ll grip the club and as you start the chipping stroke backswing, your right hand (trail hand) will hinge slightly. As the backswing comes to a stop and the downswing is about to begin, make sure to hold the hinge in this trail hand while keeping the lead hand / wrist firm and flat.
As you make contact with the ball, maintain hinge in this trail wrist and maintain a firm flat leading hand. This will help you avoid flipping the wrists and getting floppy with the hands during the chipping stroke.
You’ll find your ball contact improves as you hit chip shots more consistently and reduce the chunks and sculls.
Drill #20: Closest to the Hole with a Friend
Find a friend to play this chipping drill against. The winner of each hole gets to pick the next chip shot and hole to chip to each time.
Start off picking a chip shot and both of you attempt your best to hit the ball close to the hole. Whoever hits the closer chip shot to the hole wins the hole.
Keep score and set a point total to get to such as 18, for example.
Drill #21: Closest to the Hole with Different Clubs
Similar to the last drill, you’ll compete against a friend trying to see who can get their chip shot closer to the hole to win. But now, you make the drill more challenging by setting a rule that every chip has to rotate between different clubs in your bag.
For example, hole #1, you guys will chip with your pitching wedge and then hole #2 you’ll both have to use a 9 iron. Keep changing clubs each time so you get practice chipping with other clubs in the bag to build skill.
Drill #22: Chip it between the tees
To help you work on hitting chip shots on the correct line, set down two tees on the green about a club head width apart from each other.
Practice hitting chip shots that land on the green before the tees, and then the ball rolls through this “gate” you’ve made with the two tees.
If the ball doesn’t roll between the two tees, for example, it rolls left of the tees or right of them, then you have feedback that you didn’t keep your chip on-line.
This will help you focus on picking your line to the hole and hitting a straight chip shot that stays on line once it lands.
Drill #23: Dunk It
For this chipping drill, try to fly the ball into the cup directly without landing on the green first. We call this a slam dunk.
It will build your accuracy, forcing you to hit straight chip shots where you’re aimed and also build distance control at the same time.
If you cause any damage to the hole, be sure to repair it. Don’t leave it for others to find damaged.
Drill #24: Eyes Closed to Perfect Your Swing Tempo
When your eyes are closed, you turn to other senses to understand the feel of the chip shot. Building “feel” is key to becoming a great short game player.
Your hand eye coordination becomes stronger as you build more feel around the greens and your body makes automatic adjustments during the shot to hit the perfect distance.
Drill #25: Chip into a Solo Cup Skills Challenge
Dial in your accuracy with this challenging drill. Find a plastic solo cup to chip a coin into. You may need to build a support box around the cup to hold it in place. It will take lots of chips but eventually you’ll find more chips going into the cup on the fly.
If you prefer to not damage your clubface from hitting a coin, you can substitute mini rubber golf balls instead.
This is a simple chipping drill you can do indoors at home to practice your chipping and short game.
How to Chip a Golf Ball – 3 Methods
1. Mid-Trajectory Pitch Shot
For this chip shot we need the club face to have some loft on it but not too much that the ball flies high like a flop shot. If you’re using a 60 degree wedge, you’ll want to deloft the face slightly by getting the shaft to lean forward slightly.
Or you can use a lower lofted club like a pitching wedge or 9 iron.
- Ball middle of stance
- Weight 60% front foot, 40% back foot
- Hands follow through mid level height, don’t raise the wedge too high into the air
- Slight forward shaft lean but not too much to keep some loft on the face for mid-level height ball flight
2. Low Bump and Run Pitch Shot
For this type of chip shot, we can cheat by using a low lofted club such as a 7 iron compared to normally using a wedge.
If you plan to use your 60 degree wedge however, then you need to deloft the face to keep the ball trajectory low to the ground. The loft on the wedge is what naturally lifts it higher into the air.
- Feet shoulder width apart
- Weight more forward on the lead leg
- Ball position back in your stance
- Hands forward to get the club shaft leaning forward (delofts face)
- Swing keeping the hands low throughout the chip shot, don’t have a high hands follow through
3. Flop Shot Technique for High Pitch Shots
Lastly, the flop shot. This is a beautiful golf shot when pulled off correctly. I can instantly think of a few memories of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson pulling off beautiful flop shots and it makes you want to master the pitch shot to use in certain scenarios of trouble on the golf course.
The key ingredient to hitting flop shots is high loft on the club face. More loft means more height and trajectory.
Find the highest lofted club in your bag which may be the 60 or 64 degree wedge, for example.
- Feet shoulder width apart
- Weight more center of stance for good contact, don’t lean back
- Ball position more forward of stance
- Hands more neutral in stance (belt buckle)
- Club shaft shouldn’t be leaning forward, but instead more vertical
- During the chip shot, think high hands. Keep hands high during the swing and follow through to promote a steeper angle of attack
The golf club will swing underneath the ball with good speed and this will combine with the club face having lots of loft to where the club face is almost pointing up vertically at the sky, to create a higher trajectory pitch shot with lots of backspin.
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