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How to Spin Chip Shots: Mastering the Art of Spin Control

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how to spin chip shots

If you’re an experienced golfer, you know how essential it is to have a well-rounded short game. One of the most essential aspects of your short game is your ability to spin chip shots. Spinning your chip shots might be the difference between decent and spectacular strokes.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about how to spin chip shots, including the fundamentals, techniques, and advanced tips. So, grab your golf club, and let’s get started!

Understanding Chip Shots and Spin

Before we delve into the techniques for spinning chip shots, it’s essential to understand what a chip shot is and why spin is important.

A chip shot is a short shot played close to the green, usually with a lofted club like a sand wedge or lob wedge. The goal is to get the golf ball to fly a short distance, land on the green, and then roll toward the hole.

Spin is vital in chip shots because it affects the ball’s trajectory. Different types of spin, such as backspin, topspin, and sidespin, can make the ball stop quickly, roll further, or even curve toward the target. The ability to generate spin on your chip shots will give you more control over your short game and help you lower your scores.

The Fundamentals of Spinning Chip Shot

To spin a chip shot effectively, you need to master the fundamentals. Here are the key elements you need to focus on:

Ball Position

The first thing to check when setting up for a chip shot is the ball’s position. Generally, you want to position the ball towards the back of your stance to help you strike down on the ball and create more spin.

Stance and Club Selection

Your stance and club selection will also be critical in your ability to spin chip shots. It would be best to use a lofted club like a sand wedge or lob wedge for most chip shots. In addition, your stance should be narrow, and your weight should rest slightly on your lead foot.

As you swing through the shot, shift your weight onto your lead foot and keep your trail foot light to promote a descending blow and maximize spin.

Swing Path and Follow-Through

To generate spin on your chip shots, swing the club with a descending blow and a shallow angle of attack. Your hands should be forward at impact, and your follow-through should be short and controlled.

how to spin chip shots

Techniques for Spinning Chip Shots

To become proficient in spinning chip shots, it is essential to learn the correct techniques. Here are some of the most effective techniques for generating spin on your chip shots.

Using the Bounce of the Club

One of the most critical techniques for generating spin-on-chip shots is to use the club’s bounce. The bounce is the curved part of the club’s sole that helps the club glide through the turf. By using the bounce effectively, you can create a more consistent strike and generate more spin.

Ensuring that your clubface isn’t too open or closed at impact is essential to use the bounce effectively. Also, you should strike the ball just above the ground and brush the grass with the club head.

Creating Backspin

Backspin is an essential component of spinning chip shots. To create backspin on your chip shots, you need to strike down on the ball with a steep angle of attack and a square clubface. This will create a divot in front of the ball and cause it to spin backward when it lands on the green.

Ensuring that the clubhead strikes the ball first and then the ground is important. This will create clean contact and produce maximum backspin. An excellent way to practice this is by placing a tee behind the ball and aiming to hit it with the club head.

Generating Topspin

Generating topspin on your chip shots can help the ball roll further when it lands on the green. To create a topspin, you should hit the ball with a slightly open clubface and a shallow angle of attack. When the ball settles in this position, it will roll forward.

When using this technique, ensure that your ball position is slightly forward in your stance. This will assist you in striking the ball with a descending blow for maximum topspin.

Adding Sidespin

Adding sidespin to your chip shots can help you curve the ball towards the target. To add sidespin, you need to strike the ball with a glancing blow and a clubface angled towards the direction you want the ball to curve.

It is crucial to strike the ball slightly toward the toe of the clubface to generate maximum sidespin. This will cause the clubface to rotate and create more sidespin. However, be careful not to overdo this technique, as too much side spin can cause the ball to spin off the green.

Using a Lob Wedge

A lob wedge is a highly lofted club that can generate a lot of spin on chip shots. By using a lob wedge and opening the clubface, you can create a high, spinning shot that lands softly on the green.

Make sure you use the correct loft for the shot you are facing. Also, open the clubface and aim slightly left of the target to generate maximum spin. This technique takes some practice to master, but it can be a valuable tool in your short-game arsenal.

Incorporating Wrist Action

Adding wrist motion to your chip shots might help you produce more spin on your chip shots. To use this technique, you must hinge your wrists on the backswing and release them on the downswing. This will help you create more clubhead speed and generate more spin.

When using this technique, your hands need to stay ahead of the clubhead throughout the golf swing. Also, maintain a smooth tempo and avoid rushing the downswing.

By incorporating these techniques into your short game, you can generate more spin on your chip shots and lower your scores on the golf course. 

how to spin chip shots

Practicing Spinning Chip Shots

Like any golf skill, the ability to spin chip shots takes practice. Here are some drills and exercises you can use to improve your spin control:

Practice Swings

Practice swings are a great way to work on your technique and get a feel for the shot before you hit it. Take a few practice swings with your lofted club, focusing on creating the right amount of spin for the shot.

Target Practice

Set a target on the practice green and aim for it with your chip shots. Focus on generating as much spin as possible and landing the ball toward the target.

Varying Distances and Clubs

Practicing with different clubs and from different distances is essential to improve your spin control. In addition, distance control will help you better understand how many spins you need to put on the ball in different situations.

Advanced Tips and Tricks for Spinning Chip Shots

Once you’ve mastered the basics of spinning chip shots, it’s time to move on to more advanced techniques. Here are some tips and tricks to take your spin control to the next level:

Using a Premium Ball

Using a premium ball with a soft cover on your chip shots might help you produce more spin. These golf balls are designed to grip the clubface better and create more spin on short shots.

Opening or Closing the Clubface

You can add more spin to your chip shots by opening or closing the clubface at impact. This technique takes some practice to master, but it can be a valuable tool in your short-game arsenal.

Using a Lob Wedge

A lob wedge is a highly lofted club that can generate a lot of spin on chip shots. By using a lob wedge and opening the clubface, you can create a high, spinning shot that lands softly on the green. For a more in-depth guide to using your lob wedge see our article on how to hit a 60-degree wedge

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Spinning Chip Shots

Both experienced, and average golfers can struggle with spinning chip shots. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid:

Trying to Create Too Much Spin

Trying to generate too much spin can be counterproductive. Instead, focus on making clean contact with the ball and let the club’s loft do the work.

Not Keeping Your Hands Forward

Keeping your hands forward at impact is critical to generating spin on chip shots. If your hands are too far back, you’ll hit the ball too high and not generate enough spin. Be careful not to have your hands too far forward or you might end up chunking your chipshot

Using Too Much Loft

Using too much loft can cause the ball to fly too high and not generate enough spin. Instead, use the appropriate club for the stroke and concentrate on making solid contact with the ball.

The Cut Line

Adding spin to your chip shots is essential for any average golfer looking to improve their short game. By mastering the fundamentals, practicing your techniques, and avoiding common mistakes, you can take your spin control to the next level and lower your scores. 

With the tips and techniques in this article, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of spinning chip shots. Happy golfing!

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

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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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