Short Game

Crowd Your Chip Shots

By Michael Breed Illustrations by Chris Philpot
February 13, 2013

If your chipping is inconsistent, the fix could be as simple as standing closer to the ball. This will encourage you to swing the club more straight-back, straight-through (right) instead of on a rounded arc. A mental image that works great is to think about swinging the clubhead as if it were a Ferris wheel, straight up and down.

When you stand too far from the ball, the club starts at a flatter angle, which causes it to move quickly to the inside. An inside swing arc can be desirable on full swings, but there's no need for it on a simple chip. With such a short swing, attacking the ball from the inside makes it difficult to hit with a descending blow, so it promotes that bad instinct of scooping the ball. How close should you stand? The first time, get close enough so it feels a little uncomfortable, like you're crowding the ball. Then you know you're doing it about right.