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You Can Now Chip Away Your Score

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If you can get more greens in regulation on your scorecard, it will hopefully reflect more birdies.  This will certainly help you shoot lower scores.  You will lower your scores if you are able to get up and down 70 percent of the times (meaning, play your ball near the hole then down into the hole with two strokes).

First, if it is possible to putt, putt.
The less chances of error you have, the sooner you get the ball rolling towards the flag.  If you have grass in front of the ball, choose a club to lift it over the grass.  This is a chip. “lofted putt”.  Your plan is to take the difficult problem and make it better. “stuff”(the green), to roll into the hole.

Selena Costabile, 2023 Inova Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship. Photographer Ben Harpring.

When you think of a chipshot, you try to think in terms minimum airtime and maximal ground time.
This is the opposite from a pitch where you create a shot which has maximum airtime with minimum groundtime.  The pitch requires a bit more motion and hinging action whereas a chip is a swing executed like a putt…little or no body action and little or no wrist hinge.   

You want to choose a spot where the ball will land comfortably and then let it roll to the hole. Your landing area should be a spot where the ball can comfortably roll to the hole. You don’t want it to bounce on the edge, as that could cause an unusual bounce.

The amount of loft on your clubface will determine the amount of roll that you get.
To simplify, you can use a sand iron for a shorter roll, a 9-iron for a roll that is slightly longer, etc.  Once you have your chosen club, practice the length of the backswing necessary to hit the landing zone and TRUST that the ball will roll to the hole. 

A small swing executed like a putting will create this “lift”As your club brushes grass, the ball will climb the clubface.  If you don’t chip the ball into the hole, you will make it. “second”You can easily get up and go down if you are close to the ground.

Jeongeun Lee6 in the US Womens Open 2023. Photographer Ben Harpring.

As you move farther away from the ‘green’, you need to carry more.
A longer backswing is needed to get more carry.  A longer backswing results in a faster ball.  You need more loft on the clubface if the ball is moving faster.  You may have a longer distance to the pin, but you will likely use a pitching wedge, gap wedge, or sand-wedge for a run and pitch shot. Your “bulls-eye” landing area is farther away and you want to cushion the landing a bit so that the ball won’t run off the green.  A lofted club is helpful.

It may be confusing at first but experiment with your clubs to see how they carry and roll from different distances.  As you move away, you will feel that your shot may change from a chip to a pitch or a run to a pitch depending on the amount of grass you have available and how far you are away from the flag.  You will see a marked improvement in your game if you improve this area. “chip away”Your score!

The following are some of the most effective ways to increase your chances of success:Photo:Lydia Ko at 2024 LPGA Drive On Championship. All LPGA Tour images by Ben Harpring.

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