In a perfect golf world, the chip shot would never even need to be used. All of our approach shots would land softly on the green and nestle themselves closely enough for an easy, makeable putt.
Obviously, this scenario is rooted much more in fantasy than reality. For the average golfer, the chip shot is used many times in a round. It can be a very valuable tool in lowering your handicap if executed effectively.
So, what’s really the best way to chip the golf ball?
The answer is…the way that makes it end up closest to the hole on a regular basis.
For me, and keep in mind I’m a golfer who is forced to utilize the chip shot more than most, the best way to chip the ball is as follows:
1) Using your regular pitching wedge, choke down on the handle a few inches and step up to the ball as if making a putt.
2) Open the face of the club so that it will slide easily under the ball on contact.
3) With very stiff arms, “putt” the ball with your wedge.
4) Follow-through by pointing the bottom of the club at your target, arms still stiff.
This may sound confusing, but I assure you it works.
The goal is to keep your arms stiff through the entire motion, and base your follow-through on the distance you need the ball to go. A shorter distance will be little or no follow-through, and a longer distance would be a longer follow-through.
By chipping with this putting-type motion, I find the ball pops up nicely and I have a good deal of control over its direction. There will be certain lies where this chipping style isn’t warranted, but I find it works very well in most situations. It just may take a little tinkering around the putting greens to get the distance control. In the end, you’ll save yourself at least a few shots per round.