Entries Tagged as 'chipping golf'

Golf Chipping Tips 2: How to Judge Distance in Chipping

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.

Why? Because…

  • 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!

Example:

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.

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,

Fred

Golf Chipping Tips 1: Give Your Golf Swing a Break

Here’s a scenario where golf chipping tips can make or break a round, and it’s one that you deal with often if you’re an average golfer, no matter how good a golf swing you have.

You’re playing pretty good. Your drive wasn’t a monster, but you’re on the fairway and about 170 yards from the flag. You pick your club of choice from that distance and you catch the ball nice and straight, but the wind takes some distance off the ball and you land on the fairway, 15 yards short of the hole.

You need a good chip to get up and down for par. As you approach the ball, doubts and questions go through your mind, and all the golf chipping tips you’ve ever come across dance in front of you, almost taunting you.

“What club do I use? I like the sand wedge, but from this tight fairway lie I’m afraid I’m either going to chunk it or skull it. Maybe I should go with a 9 iron, to ensure better contact… but how do I judge the distance?”

  • An average golfer may hit anywhere from 0 to 5 greens in regulation during a round. This means that on most holes you’ll be faced with these questions and be relying on your short game to score.

So, let’s forget about your golf swing for one moment, and let me ask you this: How’s your chipping lately?

(If you don’t know, start tracking your golf game! This is the first step in lowering your golf scores.)

My chipping was terrible. I dreaded having to chip! The questions from the previous scenario were all too common:

What’s the best chipping technique?

Do I use ONE club for chipping from all distances, or many?

How do I judge the distance to the hole and pick a club (or a chipping stroke) that will get the ball to travel that distance?

A lot of the answers to these questions I got from ‘golf gurus’ David Nevogt and Bobby Eldridge (click here to visit their official website, there’s a lot of information and articles).

Without going into detail on chipping technique, I want to quote Bobby Eldridge on chipping distance:

“Control the distance you want the chip shots to go by your club selection, not by the length of your backswing.”

This is huge. You can learn ONE CONSISTENT CHIPPING STROKE, and choose different clubs that will go different distances. This alone has saved me tons of grief, and a lot of strokes.