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Master Your Short Game: Best Chipping Drills for Beginners

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chipping drills for beginners

Golf is a challenging and exciting sport that requires skill, strategy, and patience. However, one of the most critical aspects of golf that often separates amateur golfers from professional golfers is the short game, specifically chipping.

This article will provide you with essential golf chipping techniques and drills that will help elevate your short game and shave strokes off your score. Whether you’re a novice golfer or a seasoned player, these chipping drills for beginners will help you improve your game and shoot lower scores.

Understanding the Basics of Chipping

The foundation of all good chip shots lies in understanding the essential techniques and principles that enable golfers to achieve consistent results around the green. Firstly, a proper setup is crucial, including a slightly open stance, narrow foot positioning, and the ball just behind your stance’s center. 

This setup promotes a downward strike on the ball, ensuring crisp contact. Secondly, weight distribution is vital, with most of your weight on the front foot, preventing scooping or lifting the ball. 

Lastly, you must maintain a stable wrist throughout the golf swing, using your shoulders and the lead arm to control your normal chipping stroke. Focusing on these fundamental chipping aspects will help you develop a solid short game, setting the stage for lower scores and more enjoyable rounds on the golf course.

7 Proven Chipping Drills & Tips To Get Up-And-Down

  1. The “Y” or Triangle Chipping Drill

The “Y” or Triangle Chipping Drill is a great way to develop a consistent chipping stroke. To perform this drill, grip the club with both hands, forming a “Y” shape with your arms. 

Maintain the “Y” shape throughout the swing, ensuring minimal wrist hinge. Focus on making clean contact with the ball, letting the club’s loft do the work. This drill promotes a consistent chipping technique that minimizes the risk of mishits, leading to better distance control and accuracy.

  1. The Hula Hoop Chipping Drill

The Hula Hoop Drill is designed to help you develop precise distance control and landing spot awareness. To perform this drill, place a hula hoop on the green approximately 10 feet away from your chipping area. 

Chip multiple golf balls, aiming to land each one inside the hula hoop. Gradually increase the distance of the hula hoop to challenge your accuracy.

chipping drills for beginners

  1. Right Hand Release Chipping Drill

The Right Hand Release Chipping Drill emphasizes the importance of a proper release in your chipping technique. To perform this drill, address the ball with your normal chipping stance, but only grip the club with your right hand (trail hand). 

Swing the club, focusing on maintaining a smooth, controlled motion. This drill helps you develop a better feel for the club head and improve your ball striking.

  1. Chip-a-Coin Chipping Drill

The Chip-a-Coin Chipping Drill aims to improve your accuracy and control when chipping. To perform this drill, place a coin on the ground and attempt to chip the ball so that it lands directly on the coin. 

This drill challenges you to focus on a specific landing spot, enhancing your overall chipping precision.

  1. Slam Dunk Chipping Drill

The Slam Dunk Chipping Drill is designed to help you practice hitting the ball high and landing it softly on the green. To perform this drill, set up a target, such as a small towel or bucket, approximately 5-10 yards away from your chipping area. 

Focus on chipping the ball high and landing it softly on the target. This drill helps you develop the necessary touch to hit high, soft shots (flop shot) around the green.

  1. Par 18 Chipping Game

The Par 18 Chipping Game is an enjoyable way to practice chipping while simulating on-course pressure. Set up nine chipping stations around the practice green, each with varying distances and difficulty levels. 

Assign each station a par value of 2, and chip from each station, trying to get up and down in as few strokes as possible. The goal is to complete all nine stations with a combined score of 18 or lower.

  1. The 10 x 10 Chipping Drill

The 10 x 10 Chipping Drill is designed to help you develop consistency and distance control. To perform this drill, set up 10 balls at 10-yard intervals, starting 10 yards away from the target and extending up to 100 yards. Then, chip each ball, aiming to land it as close to the target as possible. 

This drill helps you better understand your distance control and reinforces the importance of consistent chipping mechanics.

5 Essential Chipping Drills for Beginners 

The short game is a crucial aspect of golf that can significantly influence your scores. In addition to chipping, developing your putting, bunker play, and pitch shots is essential. Here are five golf chipping drills designed for beginners that will help you enhance your overall short-game performance.

  1. The Clock Putting Drill

The Clock Putting Drill helps improve your putting accuracy and distance control. To perform this drill:

  • Place 12 golf balls around the hole in a circle, simulating the numbers on a clock face. Each ball should be three feet away from the hole.
  • Put each ball in numerical order, aiming to make all 12 putts in a row.
  • Repeat the drill at different distances to practice various length putts.
  1. The Ladder Pitching Drill

The Ladder Pitching Drill helps you gain better control over your pitch shots. To perform this drill:

  • Set up five targets (towels, alignment sticks, or other markers) in the practice area at varying distances.
  • Pitch a ball to each target in ascending order using a lofted club.
  • Reverse the order, pitching balls to each target in descending order.
  1. The Two-Ball Bunker Drill

The Two-Ball Bunker Drill teaches proper bunker shot technique and promotes consistent ball contact. To perform this drill:

  • Place two golf balls in the sand, side by side, with about an inch between them.
  • Address the balls as you would for a typical bunker shot, aiming to strike the sand between the two balls.
  • Swing through the sand, focusing on making clean contact between the balls.
  1. The Lag Putting Drill

The Lag Putting Drill helps you develop distance control on long putts. To perform this drill:

  • Place a club or alignment stick on the green about 3 feet past the hole.
  • Attempt a long putt, aiming to stop the ball between the hole and the club or stick.
  • Repeat the drill from different distances to practice controlling your speed on various-length putts.
  1. The Chipping Ladder Drill

The Chipping Ladder Drill improves your ability to control the trajectory and distance of your chip shots. To perform this drill:

  • Set up five targets (towels, alignment sticks, or other markers) at increasing distances on the practice green.
  • Using a chipping club, chip a ball to each target in ascending order.
  • Reverse the order, chipping balls to each target in descending order.

By incorporating these short game drills into your practice time and dedicating time to each aspect of your short game, you’ll see improvements in your overall performance and increased confidence on the golf course.

chipping drills for beginners

Common Mistakes When Chipping the Golf Ball

Let’s look at some of these errors and how to avoid them to improve your chipping.

  • Decelerating Through Impact

One common mistake is decelerating the clubhead through impact, leading to poor contact and inconsistent shots. To avoid this, maintain a smooth and accelerating swing through the ball, ensuring proper contact and better control over your short chip shots.

  • Excessive Wrist Action

More wrist hinge or “flipping” of the wrists during the chipping stroke can lead to consistent ball contact and predictable results. Instead, maintain a stable wrist position and focus on using your shoulders and arms to control the swing, promoting a more consistent chipping technique.

  • Poor Ball Position

Incorrect ball position can significantly impact the quality of your chip shots. For example, placing the ball too far back in your stance may cause you to hit it too low, while positioning it too far forward can result in thin or skulled shots as you present the edge of the club face to the ball. Generally, place the ball slightly back or in the center of your stance for a standard chip shot.

  • Improper Weight Distribution

Many golfers struggle with weight distribution during chipping, leading to poor contact and inconsistent results. A lot of amateurs tend to leave their weight on the back foot. Ensure your weight is slightly forward, favoring your lead foot during the chipping motion. This setup promotes a downward strike and crisp contact with the ball.

  • Scooping or Lifting the Ball

Attempting to scoop or lift the ball into the air is a common mistake that can cause poor contact and a lack of control. Instead, focus on striking down on the ball with a descending blow, allowing the club’s loft to get the ball airborne. Trusting the club’s design will lead to solid contact with the ball while playing around the green. Scooping can sometimes be caused by an overactive rear hand. To conquer this, try chipping with your lead hand only. By removing the rear hand from the equation you develop better control, balance, and feel for the club head through the impact zone.

  • Overlooking Club Selection

Many golfers use the same golf club for different types of chip shots, which can limit their ability to adapt to different short game shots around the green. Experiment with different clubs and lofts to find the optimal choice, such as for bump-and-run shots or high, soft-landing chips. You don’t always have to use a sand wedge for chipping.

  • Lack of Commitment

A lack of commitment to the shot, often due to indecision or doubt, can result in poor execution. Before you address the ball, visualize the shot you want to hit, choose the appropriate club, and commit fully to the swing. Confidence in your decision-making is the best way to better chipping results.

By addressing these common chipping mistakes and practicing regularly, you’ll be well on your way to improving your short game and lowering your scores.

Chipping Tips for Effective Practice

Improving your chipping skills requires consistent and focused practice. Here are some valuable tips to help you make the most of your practice sessions and see noticeable progress in your short game:

  1. Set Specific Goals

Establish clear and achievable objectives for each practice session. Focus on a specific aspect of your chipping, such as distance control, trajectory, or consistency. By setting specific goals, you can concentrate your efforts on targeted improvement areas.

  1. Develop a Pre-Shot Routine

A pre-shot routine can help you stay focused and consistent during practice. Take time to visualize the shot, choose the right club, and settle into your stance. By developing a reliable pre-shot routine, you can enhance your performance under pressure on the golf course.

  1. Practice Different Lies and Situations

The chipping conditions on the course vary, so practicing on different lies and in other situations is essential. Work on uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies and shots from the rough and tight lies. This varied practice will help you build confidence in your ability to handle any situation you encounter on the course. Remember to take plenty of practice swings.

  1. Use Various Clubs

Don’t limit yourself to practicing with just one club. Experiment with different clubs to develop a versatile short game. Learning to use a range of clubs for chipping will give you more options and adaptability during play.

  1. Focus on Distance Control and Direction

Pay attention to both distance control and direction during practice. Develop a sense of how hard to swing for various distances and work on consistently hitting your target line. Accurate distance control and direction will lead to better results around the green.

  1. Incorporate Drills and Games

Chipping drills and games can make your practice sessions more engaging and enjoyable. They can also help you focus on specific skills and track your progress. Experiment with different drills and games, such as those mentioned in this article, to keep your practice fresh and exciting.

  1. Practice Under Pressure

Simulate pressure situations during practice to help prepare yourself for real-life scenarios on the course. Set performance goals, such as getting up and down from a specific spot or chipping a certain number of balls within a target area. Practicing under pressure will improve your mental game and help you stay calm in challenging situations.

Equipment and Accessories to Enhance Chipping Practice

  • Alignment sticks: Useful for checking your stance and alignment during chipping practice.
  • Chipping nets: A handy tool for practicing your chipping accuracy at home or on the range.
  • Foam or practice golf balls: Allow safe and convenient chipping practice in limited spaces.
  • Golf towels: Useful for cleaning your clubs and maintaining optimal contact with the ball.
  • Developing a Consistent Chipping Routine

Establishing a consistent pre-shot routine is essential for success in your chipping game. A routine helps you stay focused, calm, and confident over each shot, leading to better execution and results. Develop a routine that includes checking your alignment, stance, grip, and visualization of the shot before executing the chip.

How can I practice golf chipping at home?

Practicing golf chipping at home is a great way to improve your game and stay sharp between rounds. Here are some tips for practicing golf chipping at home:

  1. Use a chipping net: A chipping net is a great tool for practicing your chipping at home. It’s portable, easy to set up, and provides a target to aim for. You can find chipping nets online or at your local sporting goods store.
  2. Use a mat: If you don’t have access to a grassy area, you can use a chipping mat to practice your shots. A chipping mat will simulate the feel of hitting off of real grass and provide a consistent surface to practice on.
  3. Practice your technique: Focus on your technique when practicing at home. Make sure your stance is correct, your grip is firm but not too tight, and your swing is smooth and controlled. You can also experiment with different clubs and shots to find what works best for you.
  4. Use a mirror: A mirror can be a helpful tool for checking your technique. Set up a mirror behind you and practice your chipping shots while watching your form in the mirror. This can help you identify any flaws in your technique and make adjustments as needed.
  5. Practice your distance control: Distance control is a crucial aspect of chipping. Use different clubs and practice hitting the ball to different distances. You can also use markers or cones to create targets at different distances and practice hitting the ball to those targets.

See this guide for more ideas

Conclusion

Chipping is a critical aspect of golf that can dramatically impact your scores on the putting green. Incorporating these chipping drills for beginners and practicing them consistently will significantly improve your short game and overall golf performance. Remember, as with any aspect of golf, the key to success in chipping is dedication, practice, and a never-ending desire to improve.

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AUTHOR

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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