As I mentioned in my previous post, Golf Chipping Tips 1, the first step I took to improve my golf game was learning a chipping stroke I felt comfortable with; then I tried that stroke with a sand wedge, a pitching wedge, a 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 irons…
- Right there I had seven different golf chipping distances, all with the same chipping stroke which I could continue honing and improving.
This is one of the simplest golf chipping tips you can start practicing right away.
(If you’re not sure about chipping technique, I suggest you visit The Simple Golf Swing website–this is the system I used to improve my short game).
A second and more advanced step is adding another variable to chipping distance… ‘fly vs. roll’ or ‘fly/roll ratio.’
Obviously, the less loft you use in chipping, the less the ball will fly and the more it will roll. And vice-versa. This has to be taken into consideration in almost every chip shot.
- The pros try to get the ball rolling on the green as soon as possible, so they will pick the golf club that will accomplish this.
If you’re near the fringe and 10 yards from the hole, you’ll want to chip the ball to fly one or two yards and then roll on the green the remaining eight or nine.
But, if you’re 10 yards from the hole and the green begins 5 yards from the ball, then you need to negotiate the first 5 yards, flying the ball all the way there and let it roll the remaining half of the way. To do this, you’ll need more loft (a pitching wedge or a sand wedge) than in the previous situation, where you could use, say, an 8 iron.
- So, when I asked about a fast way to improve my golf game and get better with distances in chipping, I was going about it the wrong way. The right question to ask would have been in terms of fly/roll ratios, not absolute distances with each club.
- The chipping distance with a certain club (let’s say, a 9 iron) varies, depending mainly on the length of the stroke. But the fly/roll ratio for that same club is always the same, no matter how big or short of a back stroke you take!
My fly/roll ratio with my 9 iron is about 30/70. This means that if I’m 10 yards from the hole and I pick my 9 iron to chip, I’ll need to fly it 3 yards and the ball will roll the remaining 7 to the hole.
But if I’m 20 yards from the hole, I can still pick a 9 iron! I would have to make a stroke that would fly my ball 6 yards (30% of 20 yards), and roll the rest of the way to the hole.
- See? A bigger stroke with the same club will give you more distance, but the same fly/roll ratio.
The challenge here is to vary your stroke with the same club. But as you hone your chipping technique, you will have to bring this into play to give you versatility around the green.
- But first, learn a good chipping technique!
Then practice that technique to groove one stroke and apply it to every club, getting a bunch of different distances for one stroke.
- And only after this, add the fly/roll variable.
The way I practiced at this stage was, instead of using one particular stroke with different clubs and see what distance each one covered, I would pick one distance and take each club and according to the fly/roll of that club, land it where I needed in order for the ball to get to the hole.
By the way, these are my approximate fly/roll ratios for my chipping clubs (they may vary slightly for you):
7i – 10% Fly
8i – 20%
9i – 30%
Pw – 50%
Sw – 65%
Lw – 75%
So, after you’re comfortable with your chipping technique (and I seriously encourage you to visit The Simple Golf Swing for the fastest way to learn this), test it and find out your fly/roll ratios for each club.
This golf chipping tip did wonders to improve my golf game and specifically, to judge my chipping distances.
Here’s to more up and downs,