fbpx

How to Stop Chunking Chip Shots

Last Updated
stop chunking chip shots

Do you find yourself consistently chunking chip shots, leaving you frustrated and losing strokes in your golf game? You’re not alone. We’ve all been there, coming up short on a par 3 or not hitting the correct iron for an approach shot on a par 4/5. You’re left with a little chip shot to get up close to the hole to save your par. You take a couple of lovely-looking practice swings, step up behind the ball, and THUD, you’ve taken a small chunk out of the ground, about what appears to you to be 10 feet behind the ball! The ball trickles forward about 5 yards and you’re left with another chip in order to save par.

Many golfers struggle with this common problem. However, with some adjustments and practice, you can stop chunking chip shots to save par and get that ball close to the hole for more birdie opportunities.

In this article, we’ll discuss the fundamentals of a good chip shot, common causes of chunking, and provide actionable tips to help you improve your short game around the putting green.

Understanding Chunking Chip Shots

Chunking occurs when the leading edge of the golf club hits the ground before making contact with the golf ball. The result is usually a poorly hit shot that travels a shorter distance than intended.

Causes of Chunking

Poor Weight Distribution

Many golfers place more weight on their back foot during a chip shot, which generally leads to chunking. Proper weight distribution is crucial to ensure solid contact with the ball.

Inconsistent Swing Path

An inconsistent swing path can cause the low point of the swing to be too far behind the ball, leading to chunking.

Improper Clubface Angle

Opening or closing the clubface too much during the swing can result in chunking, as the club hits the ground before the ball. To make clean contact with the ball and avoid chunking, it’s important to keep the shaft angle the same as you chip. This keeps the club head on the most optimal path as it approaches the ball.

stop chunking chip shots

Fundamentals of a Good Chip Shot

Adopt a Proper Stance and Posture

  • Optimal Stance Width: Position your feet slightly closer together, adopting a narrower stance. This adjustment helps maintain balance and control during your chip shot.
  • Ideal Ball Position: Position the ball slightly back in your stance, ensuring clean, descending contact with the ball. This placement encourages a downward strike and reduces the likelihood of chunking.
  • Accurate Weight Distribution: Focus on placing more weight on your front foot, ensuring a consistent low point in your swing, and facilitating solid contact with the ball.

Master the Right Grip

  • Appropriate Grip Pressure: Employ a lighter grip pressure for greater finesse and touch in your short game. In addition, a gentle grip enables better club control and precision in your shots.
  • Discover Your Perfect Grip Type: Experiment with different grip styles, such as the overlap or interlock grip, to find one that feels comfortable and promotes consistent contact. Trying out various grips can help you identify the most effective technique for your unique swing.

Hone your Swing Mechanics

  • Compact and Controlled Backswing: Aim for a shorter, more controlled backswing, concentrating on a smooth, fluid motion. A compact backswing helps maintain accuracy and consistency in your chipping.
  • Balanced and Focused Downswing: During your downswing, shift your weight to your front foot and maintain a steady head position. This balanced approach allows for more consistent contact and improved results.
  • Complete and Proper Follow-through: A well-executed follow-through is crucial for a successful chip shot. Concentrate on accelerating through the ball, maintaining the club’s forward momentum, and finishing smoothly.

In-Depth Tips to Stop Chunking Chip Shots

Master Weight Transfer Drills

As you make contact with the imaginary ball, take a practice swing and step forward with your back foot, transferring your weight onto your front foot. This drill promotes proper weight distribution and a solid follow-through, ensuring cleaner contact with the ball.

Set up with your right foot slightly behind your left foot. This adjusted stance encourages a more downward strike, ensuring a proper weight shift during the swing, and helping you stop chunking chip shots.

Visualize Success

Take a few moments before each chip shot to imagine a successful outcome. Visualizing helps you feel more confident and stay focused, which makes it easier to make a good shot. Picture the ball landing softly on the green, rolling towards the hole, and stopping near the pin.

Keep Your Upper Body Still and Controlled

During your chip shot, don’t move your upper body around too much. This is because too much movement can cause inconsistent contact. Instead, focus on engaging your core muscles and maintaining a quiet upper body throughout your golf swing, which will help you achieve more reliable results and help lower your handicap.

stop chunking chip shots

Leverage the Bounce of Your Wedge

Understanding and utilizing the bounce of your wedge can make a significant difference in your chipping. The bounce allows the club to glide through the turf, minimizing the risk of chunking. Practice making contact with the ground using the bounce of the wedge, and you’ll notice improved turf interaction and cleaner contact with the ball.

Experiment With Different Clubs for Diverse Situations

Depending on the lie, distance to the green, and course conditions, you may need to vary the club you use for chipping. Try using a variety of clubs, such as an 8-iron, 9-iron, or pitching wedge, to develop a versatile short-game arsenal. By practicing with different clubs, you’ll be better prepared to handle various chipping scenarios.

Develop a Consistent Pre-shot Routine

A consistent routine before a shot can help calm nerves and make sure that the chipping motion is more repeatable. Your routine may include checking your alignment, taking a few practice swings, and visualizing the shot. If you consistently do things the same way, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident, which can help your performance.

Break Down Your Swing Into Segments

By analyzing and practicing certain parts of your chipping motion, you can find and fix problems that may be causing chunking. Focus on getting good at the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through on their own before putting them all together to make a smooth swing.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you keep messing up your chip shots, you might want to talk to a professional golf instructor. They can give you personalized advice, point out problem areas in your swing, and help you improve your chipping technique with targeted drills.

By implementing these in-depth tips and dedicating time to practice, you’ll be well on your way to stopping chunking chip shots and significantly enhancing your short game around the green.

As your chipping improves, you’ll save strokes and lower your scores, making your golf experience more enjoyable and rewarding.

Secret tip you won’t hear from most people

Use a chipper! Although there is a negative perception associated with the use of a golf chipper, it can serve as a very useful club. If you are experiencing difficulties with your short game, using a golf chipper can assist you in regaining your confidence. In golf, there are numerous techniques to propel the ball towards the hole and ultimately sink it. A chipper is among those methods. Do not feel ashamed if you require the assistance of a chipper in your quest to stop chunking chip shots

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.

Conclusion

Chunking chip shots can be frustrating and costly in any golfer’s game. However, you can improve your technique and consistency around the green by understanding the causes of chunking and implementing the fundamentals of a good chip shot. Remember to pay attention to your stance, posture, grip, and the mechanics of your swing. You should also practice weight transfer drills and imagine yourself hitting the ball well.

Feel free to experiment with different clubs and grip styles to find the perfect combination that works for you. But, most importantly, dedicate time to practicing your short game, as this will help you stop chunking chip shots and improve your overall golf performance.

With persistence and patience, you’ll soon see your chip shots land closer to the hole, setting you up for easier putts and lower scores. So, get out there and start working on your short game, and watch as your golf game reaches new heights and you spend less time cleaning off mud from your wedges.

Photo of author

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.

Leave a Comment