Majority of amateur golfers spend most of their practice time bashing golf balls on the driving range. The importance of the short game, and of chipping in particular, is often overlooked by recreational golfers.
The average PGA Tour professional hits about 65-70 % of greens in regulation over the course of a season. In golfing terms it means that they hit roughly 12 out of 18 greens per round.
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The PGA Tour scrambling average is about 60%, not even the pros get it up and down all the time, but they do so more often than not.
Chipping is an important aspect of the game that both amateur and professional golfers have to focus on.
Amateur golfers should work even harder on their chipping given the fact that they will miss more greens on average during a round.
Winter is the perfect time for golfers that are forced to practice short game indoors to do some winter golf drills that will sharpen up their chipping skills.
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Indoor Golf Practice Equipment Needs
If you plan on doing winter golf drills indoors a few pieces of equipment will be necessary. Luckily with a few small and inexpensive indoor golf training aids you will be able to do your winter indoor chipping drills with ease.
There are a bunch of other golf training aids available on the market, but these are the basic ones that you will require in order to practice chipping at home:
- Chipping Mat
- Hitting Net
- Rubber / Indoors Balls
Golf Chipping Mat
In order to protect your carpet or if you have tile floors at home, a golf chipping mat will be needed in order to chip off of.
Golf Practice Net
A chipping net is also a must have, it won’t only give you a target to aim at, but it will also allow you to do indoor chipping drills with ease.
Rubber Golf Balls
If you don’t trust your skills around your furniture then some foam practice balls will be a wise investment.
Winter short game drills and chipping drills in particular can be very boring. But on the plus side doing chipping drills during your practice sessions can greatly improve the quality of your practice session.
Below are some must do winter chipping drills for the lucky few that have access to a outdoor facility during the winter months. You can also check out these short game chipping drills as part of our 10 Level Challenge.
Hit chip shots with every club in your bag
Speed control is vital in order to improve your chipping. A good way to create feel and to work on speed control is to hit the same chip shot using different clubs.
Due to a change in loft and other variables each club will require a chip shot that is hit a little different to the previous one.
The most effective way to do this chipping drill is to hit 5 chips with each club in your bag from the same spot to the same hole.
This drill won’t only improve your feel, but you might also discover that there are multiple clubs and ways that one chip shot can be played.
Hole out 3 times
In a dream world we as golfers would love to hole out every chip shot that we line up to, in reality that won’t happen, but we can practice with the goal of holing out every chip.
The thought of holing out every chip is a good way to approach chipping for multiple different reasons.
Thinking about making the chip shot will help you with narrowing your focus, mentally thinking that you want to chip the ball into the hole will distract you from other thoughts that aren’t helpful.
In the movie, American Sniper, Bradley Cooper who plays the role of legendary Navy sniper Chris Kyle says it best: “Aim small, miss small.”
Being very precise about your target is key not only in chipping, but with every shot played on the golf course.
At the end of your practice session choose a fairly easy chip shot, the goal is to hole out at least 3 times before you can call it quits on your practice session.
Play 9 par 2 holes
Hitting a good chip shot during a practice session is a lot easier than actually doing it while you are playing a competitive round.
In order to close this gap in consistency it is important to simulate playing during your practice sessions. Playing 9 par 2 holes around the chipping green is a fun way to do just that.
Take 1 ball and hit 9 different chip shots around the green, putt out every putt just like you would during a round.
The goal is to finish in 21 shots or less. Keep track of your best score and try to beat that score every time that you do this drill.
To some this drill might sound useless, but it is one of the best golf chipping drills to practice.
PRACTICE PLAN: How to Break 70 (Golf Drills, Worksheets) – Get Started Here
Indoor Chipping Drills – How to Practice Golf Indoors
If you are one of the many unlucky golfers that have to deal with a white winter then you will have to practice your short game indoors during the winter months.
Let’s take a closer look at some indoor golf drills that will help you sharpen up your short game for the playing season.
Indoor Chipping Target Practice Drills and Games
There are a host of foldable chipping nets available on the market that will make your indoor short game drills fun and productive this winter.
Indoor targets will assist with narrowing your focus, and games can also be played with a indoor chipping target.
A good drill to do is to chip 3 shots into the target before the end of every session. This simulates holing out a chip shot and it will do wonders for your confidence around the greens.
With the help of a chipping net you won’t only just be able to practice chipping at home, you will also be able to play games against your friends.
If you have friends over each person gets a set amount of shots and the person that hits the target the most times is the winner. It is a simple chipping game that will get your competitive juices flowing before golf season starts.
Towel Ladder Chipping Drill
Distance control is key if your goal is to improve your chipping. The spot where you land the ball at when chipping determines the overall distance of the shot.
Indoor short game drills give golfers the perfect opportunity to work on key chipping fundamentals such as distance control.
A great must do winter chipping drill is the towel ladder drill.
Take 3 towels and place the first towel about 5 yards away and place the other 2 towels at 6 and 7 yards away from your golf chipping mat.
Start off by trying to land the ball on the 5 yard towel, move on to the 6 and 7 yard towel.
Once you are comfortable with the respective distances make a chipping game out of the drill by trying to hit all 3 distances with 3 consecutive shots.
This is a great indoor drill that can be turned into hours and hours of fun with friends and family.
The mental part of the golf game is an aspect that is normally neglected by majority of amateur golfers. The pre-shot routine in particular is a very important mental tool that amateur golfers fail to utilize.
Jason Day and Keegan Bradley, two of the best golfers in the world, both have very rigid pre-shot routines that have become somewhat of a trademark.
One of the best winter indoor golf drills that you can add to your golf practice schedule is pre-shot routine rehearsal. Find a routine that works for you and that allows you to chip and hit every shot with freedom.
Key aspect to keep in mind when working on a chipping pre-shot routine include:
- Picking the correct club
- Finding a landing spot on the green
- Rehearsing the shot you want to play
- Deep breath in order to relieve the body of any unwanted tension
- Only hit the shot if you are 100% ready, if anything distracts you during your pre-shot routine then you have to start over
Indoor Routine: Follow this step by step indoor practice plan
Best Chipping Wedges
Winter is the best time to add new clubs to your bag. Wedges that get used on a regular basis need to be replaced more frequently in comparison to other clubs.
During the summer months your golf practice schedule normally only allows for playing, but in the winter months attention can get shifted over to technique and club testing instead.
Let’s take a look at some of the best golf wedges for 2019.
Cleveland RTX 4
Cleveland are renowned for making some of, if not, the best golf wedges that money can buy. Cleveland produces industry leading wedges year in and year out and the new RTX 4 wedges are no exception.
The RTX 4’s are packed with technology that will make an golfer excited about indoor short game practice. Let’s take a closer look at what sets these wedges apart from the rest of the field:
- The RTX 4’s feature face milled faces that are laser milled to deliver precision grooves that deliver maximum spin and short game control.
- The RTX 4’s feature a compact shape as request by tour players. The lower loft options (48 and 52 degrees) blend in with your irons, and the higher lofted 54 and 60 degree options feature a more traditional head shape that promotes better greenside control.
- The RTX 4’s feature progressive feel balancing technology, this design feature adjusts the center of gravity on both the vertical and horizontal axes to ensure enhanced feel and distance control on both center and off-center hits.
- The RTX 4’s are available in 3 grind options, the low bounce option is better suited for firm conditions, the mid bounce works well for a variety of conditions, and the full bounce option is best suited for wet conditions.
The RTX 4’s are some of the best wedges that money can buy, give them a try this winter they will definitely make your indoor practice time feel a lot shorter this winter.
Callaway Mack Daddy 4
Callaway is one of the leading golf manufacturers in the golf business. Callaway’s Mack Daddy 4 wedges are industry leading wedges designed by world renowned wedge designer, Roger Cleveland.
The Mack Daddy 4’s are designed with the latest technology that makes them one of the best on the market, let’s take a closer look at what these wedges have on offer.
- The Mack Daddy 4’s feature Groove-In-Groove technology. This technology maximizes spin and control with its unique groove design.
- The Mack Daddy 4’s are available in 4 different sole grinds, these different grinds suit a variety of playing styles, attack angles and course conditions. The W and S grind wedges are better suited for players that prefer to play with a square clubface. Players that like to play a variety of different shots and that aren’t scared to open up the clubface will enjoy the X grind best.
- The Mack Daddy 4’s offer great feel and forgiveness, this is achieved by the use of weight ports in the back of the clubhead. These weight ports ensure that the clubheads center of gravity is positioned progressively upward on higher lofted clubs in order to ensure soft feel at impact on every shot.
- The Mack Daddy 4’s are available in a big variety of lie, loft and finish options. Finish options include platinum chrome, black and matte finishes.
The Mack Daddy 4’s are sleek looking wedges that will catch the eye of any player. They are packed with technology to enhance your game and they will be a welcome addition to the bag of any golfer that wants to improve their short game during the winter season.
Golf Practice System for Lower Scores
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Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.
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Nick Foy, Instructor