Visualize your putting stroke: You'll make crisper contact on your chips if you swing the club straight back (left). Imagine your putting motion (right).
Most golfers who hit chip shots fat or thin do so because the club travels too far inside the target line back and through. This shallow path causes the club to either bottom out before the ball (a classic chunk) or you sense this and pull up through impact, skulling the ball clear across the green.
A better way to chip is to get into your ideal impact position at address: weight toward the target, ball in the middle of your stance or slightly back, eyes over the target line so the clubhead sits slightly on its toe.
Then execute your putting stroke, taking the club straight back and up with minimal wrist hinge, then down into the back of the ball, re-creating your address position. The club should finish low to the ground, your left wrist flat. The ball will pop into the air, land softly and roll to the hole like a putt.
JIM FLICK, a longtime Golf Digest Teaching Professional and PGA Golf Professional Hall of Famer, worked with hundreds of amateurs and tour players including Jack Nicklaus.