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Harbour Town Golf Links

Golf Digest Schools

Golf instruction truths: Make crisp contact on every chip shot

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Photographs by Chris Shonting

Rotating the head toward the target during the downswing is something many great players do to complete their full swings. Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam come to mind. This technique also can help your chipping—especially if you chunk these shots a lot.

Just like for a full-swing iron shot, the goal in chipping is to strike the ball before the club hits the turf. If you redirect your attention to a spot in front of the ball when you practice, you’ll help get your body to rotate toward the target in the through-swing, which is key to making ball-first contact. You don’t slap at the ball; you swing through it.

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You can see here that I’m looking ahead of the ball before I hit it—and I keep rotating my head after impact. Doing this allows me to make a smooth swing, letting the ball get in the way of the correct technique. Give it a try, and if it helps your contact and control, remember how this feels when you go back to looking at the ball on the golf course.