In golf, the most important area of your game to practice is the short game. This includes chipping and putting, but also includes pitching and bunker play.
Chipping is when you’re close to the green (usually within 10 yards or less). Pitching is when you’re facing 15, 20, 30 yard shots to get the ball to the green still.
In addition to these areas of the short game, you also have different ways to practice.
Some golfers like to practice for set periods of time, while others practice for a specific number of reps. For example, you hit 200 putts and you go home vs you putt for 2 hours and you go home.
Whichever practice style is more appealing to you should be the chosen method so you stay consistent and put in lots of hard work on your golf practice days.
Here are some simple chipping drills you can include in your chipping practice routine. Feel free to customize your own practice schedule and routine by mixing and matching these drills with other golf drills you find online.
Long Distance Chipping Practice
If there is one area in the short game that most golfers struggle with it is longer distance chip shots. We like to classify long distance chipping as any chip shot where the hole is on the opposite side of the green.
This drill is easy to set up and complete. You’ll find a practice hole that is the opposite side of the green from where you’ll be chipping.
- Step #1: Walk over and place ball markers or tees in a 3-foot circle around the hole to give yourself a target zone to roll chip shots inside of. I like to use my putter to measure the 3 feet.
- Step #2: Walk back across the green and drop 5 balls or so in the rough. Begin chipping the 5 balls one at a time trying to get all 5 within the 3-foot circle zone you made around the hole.
Total practice time for this drill should be 10-15 minutes or if you go by total reps try to chip 50 times to a far distance hole to work on your wedge control.
10 reps won’t be enough to build skill. Aim for 50 reps each day for a few weeks to build consistency.
Here is the video tutorial of me completing this drill:
Medium Distance & Short Distance Chipping Practice
Medium distance chipping is usually when the hole is in the center of the green and short distance chipping is when the hole is close to the edge of the green on the same side you’re chipping from.
Short range chip shots are much easier than medium and long distance chipping so spend more of your practice time hitting reps to holes further away.
Learn how your wedge and ball spin work together for different distances you carry the ball in the air. Practice both low runner chips and higher, longer flying chips that stop quickly.
Alternate Distance Control Chipping Drill
The above 3 golf drills have you focus on high volume of reps to each individual hole in bulk.
So you’d set up and hit 50-100 chips to a long distance hole. Then you’d set up and hit 50-100 chips to a middle hole, and so on until you worked on all 3 distances in bulk, but separately.
In this chipping drill, however, you’ll be rotating one shot to each hole.
Hit one chip to the far distance hole, then hit a chip to the short distance hole, and then finish with a chip shot to the middle hole.
The goal is to successfully get all 3 chip shots within 3 feet of their respective holes.
Then walk to the other side of the green and pick a spot in the rough to chip from and hit to these same 3 holes again but now the distances have changed by switching sides of the green.
Repeat this drill moving around the green so you practice chipping from all different angles. This will help you learn distance control for a variety of shots and your ball will break different based on the green slope and angles your chipping from.
Those are the basic 4 high rep / volume chipping drills to build your distance control with your wedge:
- 50 reps to a far away hole (long)
- 50 reps to a middle hole (medium)
- 50 reps to a nearby hole (short)
- 50 reps alternating distances from various locations around green
Chipping Further Away from the Green
When you arrive at the golf course, it’s easy to fall into the trap of grabbing a wedge out of your bag, dropping a few balls on the fringe, and hitting some chips to a hole on the green without really putting much focus or effort into your practice.
Today I want to give you a simple, but effect golf chipping drill that will elevate your chipping practice sessions so you know what to work on as well as how it’s making you better at your short game.
This drill works on getting you comfortable chipping different distances away from the green. You won’t always just miss the green. Sometimes you’ll be 5 yards away from the green and sometimes you’ll be 25 yards from the green. Can you still get up and down?
Step 1: Get 10 Golf Balls Out of Your Bag
Work with 10 golf balls to get more reps in quicker for the volume chipping practice routine.
Try to use the same golf balls you would use out on the golf course to get accustomed to how they feel during impact as well as how they spin and roll.
Learning how a golf ball released on the green and rolls can vary by golf ball brand since some balls are softer and others are harder materials inside their core. Use the same ball for consistency.
Step 2: Pick a Spot in the Rough 15 yards Away from Green
To be honest, most golfers won’t be chipping that often from fringe during a golf round. When we miss a green with our iron shots, we usually miss by 5 or more yards.
In other words, our chip shot is going to be coming from the rough and we will be at least 5 yards away from the green if not more.
So starting at 15 yards away is ideal to practice chipping onto the green to try and get up and down for a par.
The goal with this drill is to chip all 10 golf balls onto the green successfully from 15 yards away. We don’t want to end up short and still in the rough, having to chip a second time. Wasted stroke on the scorecard.
Once you can successfully get all 10 balls chipped out of the rough and onto the green in a row, you pass the drill. If one chip shot doesn’t make it onto the green, you fail and have to start over. Go collect the balls, bring them back and try again to hit all 10 in a row onto the green.
Step 3: Setup a 6 foot boundary around the hole
Once you pass the challenge in step 2, you’re now ready to start focusing on how close the chip shots finish to the hole!
Grab some ball markers (5 or 6 of them) and create a circle around the hole. Each ball marker should be 6 feet away from the hole so you build a 6 foot radius circle around the hole.
This circle is your target zone to chip golf balls inside of. When done successfully, you leave yourself a short putt (less than 6 feet) which gives you a better chance at making par than if you had a putt from outside of 6 feet.
Hit 10 chip shots from 15 yards again, but this time don’t worry about starting over. Hit all 10 regardless of where they end up on the green.
Now walk to the hole and remove the balls that didn’t end up inside 6 feet. Count them as -1 point.
Next, count the balls that made it within the 6 foot circle and give yourself 2 points for each ball.
Lastly, try to make the putt of the balls inside the 6 foot circle. For each made putt, give yourself 3 points. For each missed putt, give yourself -1 point.
Keep track of your score. Repeat this drill 5 times for a total of 50 chips and see what your final score is. Then come back another day and try to beat your score!
A perfect score would be getting all 50 chips (5 sets of 10) inside 6 feet circle, scoring 100 points. And then making all 50 putts you’d get 150 points (50 x 3pts). Total possible points of 250. If you can score above 200, your chipping skills from 15 yards are professional level!
Each successful up and down scores 5 points (2 pts for the chip inside 6 feet, and 3 pts for the made putt to finish the up and down as a par).
Step 4: Score Yourself from 5 Yards, 10 Yards, 15 Yards, 20 Yards, and 25 Yards
Once you learn how this chipping practice routine works and how it’s scored, you can replicate the drill from 15 yards away from the green and test your skills at other distances.
Move your chipping location to a spot in the rough 5 yards away from the green’s edge, then try at 25 yards, then come back to 10 yards, and finally 20 yards.
See what you score at these different distances with your 5 sets of 10 chips (5o total) at each distance. If you can complete all 250 chips (50 at each of the 5 distances) in one practice session, you’re going to get better at golf so much faster! But if you need to split it up and try one distance at each practice session, that works too.
Record your scores on your first test at each distance. Then you can compare later down the road to see how much you’ve improved when you get better and better scores from 5 yards to 25 yards by completing this golf chipping practice routine.
Remember, start by focusing first on getting all the chips onto the green in a row successfully before moving onto the scoring game. You must pass phase 1, get the ball onto the green every time, first before worrying about how close it is to the hole and trying to sink the putt (phase 2 of chipping routine).
Overall, you’re going to get better at chipping, save more pars from getting up and down around the green. When you miss your approach shots with your irons, you’ll feel confident you can still score par having practiced chipping from all kinds of yardages away from the green.
Missing the green won’t phase you!
Up & Down Chipping Practice Under Pressure
In this chipping drill, you’re going to simulate a real case scenario you may face on the golf course. Grab one golf ball, grab your wedge, and grab your putter.
Imagine you’ve just hit your approach shot from the fairway and you missed the green by 10-15 feet.
Now you must chip the ball onto the green and try to make the putt to save your par. This is known as an up & down in golf terminology.
This drill simulates “up & downs” by pressuring you to successfully chip your 1 golf ball close to the hole since you only have 1 ball to practice with. You don’t get to redo the shot by having 5 balls sitting on the ground in case you screw up the chip.
Spend 30 minutes working on up & downs by dropping your ball in random places around the green and picking out a hole to chip to. Then grab the putter and try to sink the putt.
Keep track of your attempts vs successes to see your up & down conversion rate. Aim for 80% or better.
Up & Down 18 Hole Game
Like the last chipping drill, this short game practice drill will again have you using only 1 golf ball to simulate pressure. Instead of focusing on time and high volume of reps, you get to play a fun 18-hole game simulation.
Repeat the game until you successfully pass it, that’s when you get to stop!
How to Play this Chipping Golf Game
Create 18 different chipping scenarios by dropping your golf ball different locations around the green and with different types of lies (buried, clean, fluffed up, etc.).
Pick out different holes as you go so, you’re not hitting similar chip shots.
Treat it like an 18 hole round where you miss all 18 greens in regulation. The only way to score par 72 is to successfully get all 18 up & downs.
It will be challenging and put pressure on you not to screw up which will help you immensely out on the golf course when you face real life up & down situations.
To win this game, successfully complete all 18 up & downs in a row.
If you’re a beginner and not very good at chipping or putting, then you may not be able to complete this game so instead set a 1 hour time limit to pass it or else you get to quit and move on to other golf short game drills.
Chipping Practice Routine Recap:
Today we gave you some simple chipping drills to build your golf practice routine around. These included:
- Long Distance Chipping Practice (High Repetition to Build Skill Memory)
- Medium Distance Chipping Practice
- Short Distance Chipping Practice
- Alternate Distance Control
- Chipping Farther Off the Green in the Rough
- Up & Down High Volume Repetition
- Up & Down Pressure (18 Hole Game)
Again, you decide how to complete these short game drills. Are you going to do them for a certain amount of time like 30 minutes each to create a 3 hour golf practice.
Or are you going to complete a set number of repetitions like 50 chips for each drill, 300 chipping reps for the whole practice session?
The analogy for this practice style I always use is Michael Jordan shooting 1,000 jump shots a day to build skill from high volume repetition. Same with golf.
Putt in the reps and time and you’ll get better. It’s that simple.
Drills are just tools to help you give practice structure and judge your time spent over weeks and months of practice!
Before you go, make sure to check out these golf practice plans! Each has proven drills to help you improving your scoring and build a strong short game! See below.
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