Unlock the Secrets of Chipping Distance Control: Golf Skills Mastery

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chipping distance control

Imagine standing on the edge of the green, just a few yards away from sinking your putt and achieving your best score. It all comes down to one crucial skill: chipping distance control.

Mastering your chipping technique can be a game-changer, transforming your short game and dramatically lowering your scores. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential techniques and strategies to help you conquer chipping distance control and reach new heights in your golf course game.

Building a Solid Foundation for Distance Control

To excel at chipping to control distance, you must establish a strong foundation of fundamentals. In addition, the following elements are critical to your success:

Proper Stance and Posture

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Position the golf ball in the middle of your stance.
  • Lean your weight slightly forward, ensuring a solid base.

Club Selection and Understanding Loft

  • Choose the appropriate club for the shot, considering factors like distance, terrain, and green conditions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the loft of each club, as this impacts the trajectory and the ball rolling.

The Art of the Chipping Stroke

  • Use a simple, pendulum-like motion for your chipping stroke.
  • Keep your wrists firm and avoid excessive wrist hinge.
  • Focus on making clean, solid contact with the golf ball.
chipping distance control

Advanced Techniques for Chipping Distance Control

Elevate your chipping distance control by incorporating these advanced techniques into your game. These strategies will help you fine-tune your skills and adapt to various course conditions and situations.

  1. Adjusting Your Ball Position

Understanding how ball position affects your chip shots can lead to better distance control. Experiment with these adjustments to achieve optimal results:

  • Forward ball position: This promotes a higher trajectory, which can be helpful when you need to carry the ball over obstacles or stop it quickly on the green.
  • Backward ball position: This produces a lower trajectory with more roll, ideal for situations where you want the ball to release and run toward the hole.
  1. Utilizing the Bounce of Your Club

Leveraging the bounce of your club can help you control the distance and adapt to different lies:

  • More bounce: Use a club with more bounce when playing from fluffy lies or soft sand to avoid digging too deep into the turf.
  • Less bounce: Opt for a club with less bounce on tight lies or firm surfaces to ensure clean contact with the golf ball.
  1. Controlling Clubface Angle

Manipulating the clubface angle can significantly impact the trajectory and roll of your chip shots, providing greater distance control:

  • Open clubface: Opening the clubface adds loft and increases the height of your chip shot, resulting in a softer landing with less roll.
  • Closed clubface: Closing the clubface reduces loft and leads to a lower trajectory, allowing the ball to roll out more after landing.
  1. Varying Your Grip Pressure and Style

Experimenting with grip pressure and style can improve your feel and control during chip shots:

  • Light grip pressure: A lighter grip pressure can help you maintain a smoother swing and enhance your feel around the green.
  • Choking down on the club: Gripping the club lower on the handle can provide better control over distance and allow for more precise shots.
  1. Mastering the “Hinge and Hold” Technique

The “hinge and hold” technique can help you achieve greater consistency and control in your chipping:

  • Hinge your wrists during the backswing, creating a 90-degree angle between the club shaft and your lead arm.
  • Maintain this angle throughout the downswing and follow-through, holding the wrist hinge as you contact the ball.

This technique promotes a downward strike, ensuring solid contact and better distance control.

  1. Practicing With Different Clubs

Becoming proficient with a variety of clubs for chipping can give you greater versatility and control in different situations:

Experiment with different clubs, such as your pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge, to learn how each club’s loft affects trajectory and roll. Further, use higher-lofted clubs when you need the ball to stop quickly on the green and lower-lofted clubs when you want more roll toward the hole.

By incorporating these advanced techniques into your chipping repertoire, you’ll gain greater control over your shots and take your short game to new heights.

Chipping Distance Control drills

Dedicated practice is essential for honing your chipping distance control. Try incorporating these drills into your golf practice plans:

  1. Step-by-Step Guide to Success: The Ladder Drill
  • Place several golf balls in a line, each a few feet apart.
  • Chip each ball to a different target, working your way up and down the “ladder” of distances.
  • Focus on controlling the length of your backstroke to achieve the correct distance.
chipping distance control

  1. Perfecting Your Stroke Length: The Clock Drill
  • Set up several targets around the practice green at varying distances.
  • Chip shots to each target, imagining the targets as numbers on a clockface.

This drill helps develop a better feel for distances and enhances stroke length control.

  1. Fine-Tuning Your Touch Around the Green: The Fringe Putting Drill

Chip balls from various locations around the green, aiming to land them on the fringe. This drill challenges you to control the ball roll and helps you develop a better touch around the green.

Bonus tip – Read our in-depth guide to the rule of 12 in chipping. This method demonstrates the chipping ratios between the amount of roll you can achieve on a shot and the club used for chipping.

Chipping from Different Lies

Golf is a game of adaptation, and mastering your golf chipping distance control requires adjusting your technique for various course conditions.

  • Chipping from Bare Lies

On tight lies, position the ball slightly back in your stance and make a descending strike to ensure solid contact. Use a club with more loft to help lift the ball off the ground and achieve the desired trajectory.

  • Navigating the Toughest Grass Conditions

Opt for a higher lofted club, like a sand wedge, in thick rough to help the ball cut through the grass and achieve better distance control.

  • Conquering Wet or Muddy Surfaces

Use a club with less bounce on wet or muddy surfaces to minimize the risk of sliding under the ball.

Focus on hitting down on the ball with a slightly steeper swing to ensure clean contact and proper distance control.

Bonus Tip – For the most comprehensive guide on chipping, including flop shots, bump and runs, and bunker shots, see our golf chipping page and chipping setup page.

What is Rule 12 in golf chipping?

This method demonstrates the chipping ratios between the amount of roll you can achieve on a shot and the club used for chipping. Read our in-depth guide to the rule of 12 in chipping.

Should you Lean Forward When Chipping?

Yes, leaning forward when chipping is a common technique used by many golfers to improve their chipping accuracy and consistency. Leaning forward helps to shift your weight onto your front foot, which allows you to make more solid contact with the ball and control the trajectory of your shot. It also helps to keep your hands ahead of the ball, which promotes a downward strike and reduces the likelihood of hitting the ball thin or fat.

How do I stop my golf chips from rolling so far?

If you’re struggling with your golf chips rolling too far, there are a few things you can try to help control your distance.
Try narrowing your stance and leaning slightly more forward. This can help promote a downward strike and reduce the amount of spin on the ball, which can lead to less roll.
Make sure you’re hitting down on the ball and making solid contact with the center of the clubface. This can help reduce the amount of spin on the ball and lead to less roll.

The Cut Line

By mastering chipping distance control, you’ll see a dramatic improvement in your golf scores and overall performance. 

From perfecting your fundamentals to practicing purposefully and adapting to various course conditions, these tips and techniques will have you playing like a pro in no time. So grab your clubs, hit the driving range, and take your short game to the next level with chipping distance control.

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Tommy is a confirmed golf fanatic. He's been playing golf for 20 years and just loves everything about the game. His dad used to play golf a lot and watch the PGA and European Tours, so Tommy started watching too. Now he knows a lot about golf and loves to coach people and help them play better.

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