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How to hit a high chip shot: A foolproof 5-step formula

April 19, 2023

High chip shots look great, but they're not always practical. Yet it's a tool every golfer needs in their arsenal. A good time to hit a high chip shot is when you need to fly your ball over something, like a bunker. You may also need to hit a high chip shot if you need to stop it quickly, like when the slope of the green is severely running away from you. High chip shots don't need to be complicated, as long as you remember these things. — Joe Plecker, Director of Instruction, Landings Club, Savannah, Ga., Golf Digest Best in State Teacher

The High Chip Formula

  • Choose a high-lofted wedge
  • Move your hands up on the grip
  • Ball, grip and chest in a straight line
  • Get clubhead under handle at impact

High Chip Step #1: High-lofted wedge

Every club in your bag has a certain loft — that's the angle of the clubface. More loft will naturally send your ball higher. For a high chip shot, pick the highest-lofted club in your bag (usually a 60 degree lob wedge, or a 56 degree sand wedge).

High Chip Step #2: Hands up grip

Whereas on a low chip shot you will choke down the club, gripping close to the shaft, you'll do the opposite on high chip shots. Move your hands as high up on the handle as possible. This will help you swing the clubhead under the golf ball, which will help you use the loft of the club.

High Chip Step #3: Straight line setup

The club's grip and sternum should be a straight line over the ball at setup. If the ball was too far back, you would have too much shaft lean, which would send the ball too low. Ball position is key on high chip shots; align these three points and you won't ever need to worry about it.

High Chip Step #4: Clubhead under handle

During the chip shot itself, you're going to want to create some wrist action to generate speed. On the backswing your wrists will hinge with your hands, and on the downswing feel them unhinge so the weight of the club passes your hands. By impact your clubhead will be under your handle, which will help deliver the club's loft into the golf ball.

High Chip Step #5: Deflect the ball

Even though this is a bigger motion than most chip shots, it's still a finesse shot. swing smooth, and let the clubhead deflect the ball gently into the air.