Chipping ?

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By jim g

  • 27 Replies
  1. I was at a 1 day short game school. There ,we were taught chipping by using one swing motion and changing clubs according to steps to the flag. My pw was 18 steps and 9i 22 steps and so on, about 4 steps per iron.... is this a common method? Or would you rather use one or two clubs and use feel to get the ball close to the hole?

  2. Barry B

    Barry B
    Lake St Louis, MO

    I use the same swing and change clubs based on lie and distance. It's much easier to go with one motion...less to think about, just set-up and go.
  3. Riley A

    Riley A
    Brookings, SD

    I have not heard of this method before. Does this mean that before each chip shot you're supposed to walk-off how many steps to the pin? I am not a super patient golfer so I would not enjoy doing this nor have a playing partner do this every chip shot. I'm a two/three club guy for chipping depending upon each shot. Did you enjoy this method?
  4. Barry B

    Barry B
    Lake St Louis, MO

    riley a said:

    I have not heard of this method before. Does this mean that before each chip shot you're supposed to walk-off how many steps to the pin? I am not a super patient golfer so I would not enjoy doing this nor have a playing partner do this every chip shot. I'm a two/three club guy for chipping depending upon each shot. Did you enjoy this method?

    My assumption is that when you practice you do it so you can get a feel for how far each club goes (carry & rollout) until that feel becomes second nature. I certainly cannot imagine that once a players gains the feel for distances that they would not walk off the distances during a round. I agree with you on not wanting to be paired with someone doing this during a round.
  5. Sounds awfully technical. Like putting, I go by feel with my chipping. If I am hitting a ball I can spin, like a Pro V 1x then I am usually very aggressive and I usually fly it at the hole expecting it to check on the 2nd bounce. Most teachers advocate to get the ball on the ground as soon as possible and let it run out. Even from 40 yards out, I will hit my gap wedge three quarters of the way to the hole and let run the remaining distance on the ground. I don't use several clubs.
  6. Joe D

    Joe D
    Minooka, IL

    I understand the instructor having you pace off ,your chips in practice to get a feel for different distances and how each club reacts at a certain distances per choice of clubs.

    One swing motion is great for keeping it simple and keeping faults in check.
    But I use certain clubs to chip with depending on the lie and what kind of a chip am I attempting to pull off.
    The question is if do you feel comfortable in this approach method?
    I play more for a feel type of a shot.
    Different strokes for different folks.
    The only think that matters is to use the method ,that you feel confident and comfortable with when executing your shot.
    Sometimes we feel uncomfortable with change and resist doing things a certain way,because it feels strange.

  7. RBH


    Ken Venturi promoted this method years ago. Pacing distances off isn't necessary. Just view the hole from the side and understand what the carry to roll distances are of each club. Pick out a level landing spot on the green and how much farther to run out. Adjust for slope and green speed. One swing, 8-10 various club options.
  8. Gary D

    Gary D
    Cranston, RI

    I usually look at the lie and distance I want to carry the ball and how much roll out I need to get. Based on that information, I choose a club to chip. As an example, I usually carry my gap wedge 1/2 the distance to the hole and it rolls out 1/2 the distance to the hole. So its easy to find a spot 1/2 the distance to the hole to land the ball. If I need to carry farther to clear a bunker or something, than I'll use a sand wedge or even a lob wedge. But its all the same swing, dictated by the lie.
  9. JR

    Royal Oak, MI

    Jim - I know several players who us this method with success. The goal is get the ball rolling to the hole as quickly as possible. Using one club path on your chips and pitches will help any player make more consistent contact and I think most pros would advise one motion. With that said, I use two clubs around the green depending on the lie (Vokey SM6 54 degree S Grind and 58 degree S Grind). A short game wizard like Spieth or Mickelson proves that ball position within your stance is the most important factor in hitting shots around the green. You have two choices... ball off your front foot to hit a higher chip with less run, or off the back foot hit that low running shot. A ball in the middle of your stance is an indecisive play and a recipe of a bogey. Of course, you always want to press the hands forward and establish that shaft angle to once again give you a better chance of consistent contact. Once you get comfortable you can manipulate the face according to your lie. I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment about feel because everyone is different. The thought of chipping chipping with a 9 iron on greens running 12.5 on the stimp scares me... You just can't stop that ball no matter what you do (even with a ProV1 or the x).
  10. John O

    John O
    Appleton, WI

    I think it depends on skill level. Your lie and hole location should typically dictate what kind shot you hit (bump and run, pitch, flop, etc.) A one swing approach would be helpful because it gives you a starting point. Personally, I'd like to be able to hit all different kinds shots to use depending on the shot at hand.
  11. richbow9


    I generally use my gap wedge for around the green, but depending on lie I'll use an 8 or 9 iron. Not heard of this technique before, I might give it a go. Chipping isn't one of my strong points!


    I haven't heard of changing clubs based on steps but, I can and have chipped with every club in my bag (except driver and 3wood) . Its all about feel I think. I believe you should get the ball rolling asap and if that means using a PW or 7iron then thats the play. If you can find practice green where you have a 30 yard approach try everything from SW to 7iron , you never know when you will have that 30-40 yd shot into the wind and you have to keep it low, BAM its a shot you have practiced... hitem straight....MADGOLFER.
  13. That might be a way you could use as a beginner. The next step could be one I've used successfully and that's a version of Dave Pelz's clock face. I know exactly how far a chip/pitch will go with my 56 52 48 when the shaft is swung at the same speed as it pendulums in the fingers at the bottom of the grip (rhythm about 60BPM) and then go back to 8 o'clock, 9 o'clock, 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock. So for my 56 wedge that's a carry of 4, 10, 15, 24 paces - use yards or paces - whatever is easy to use and the clock face positions are just what you feel they are - just be consistent. The next step is when you've got used to all this positional stuff and just do it naturally , when it's become subliminated, your habit.

    This calculation will give you all the carry distances but the roll out will be down to all sorts of factors like green speed and inclination. Secondly I was taught by our club pro to land the ball as soon as possible on a flat peice of green about one yard on if that part is flat. That means you might want to be chipping on with an 8 iron if the pin is a long way off - or if you prefer flight it in with a 56, but more loft = more risks.
  14. 19hole

    Reading, MA

    That is a method that is taught. It simplifies things a bit. Where it gets a bit more complicated is when the lie is less than perfect. That will require a club change and a swing change. Once you get a feel for the shots around the green, it really isn't all that hard to make small adjustments. It just takes a little practice. When you do practice, make sure you hit shots from really bad lies as well as good ones.
  15. pulplvr

    Spring, TX

    I'm a firm believer in using different clubs depending on the distance. Over reliance on one or two clubs for all your chipping just leaves too many variables to account for with each chip.
  16. Tom B

    Tom B
    Northborough, MA

    I've gone by some other great chippers over the years. Putting grip, putting stance, putting stroke and change clubs depending on the distance it has to travel to get to the pin and how much if any fringe you want to go over. I'll chip from the fringe on the back of a green when it's all downhill to the pin, as with this stroke the ball doesn't start with overspin, but backspin and checks when it first hits the green, then starts to roll out. Has worked very well for me for many years. But you need to practice it before you'll start chipping it very close or in.
  17. msalejandro1201

    Hampton, VA

    I think it all depends on what works for you. For example, I started worrying about my putter stroke and alignment. So I read up on different methods, but my putting started suffering. So I went back to a simpler method of just focusing on putting the ball in the direction and speed that I wanted. When I stopped focusing on the stroke so much, I had more consistent putting.

    So in your case, have you tried chipping by feel and by the school method? Which one gave you more consistent results and which was easier for you to reproduce? That's what I'd follow if I were you. Regardless of what anyone here tells you, only you would know the results, and results are what matters more than what method you're using. If I could chip in with my 3w all the time, I wouldn't care if it's feel or step method or doing a rain dance, what matters more for me is hat the ball went in/where I intended it to go
  18. Darryl M

    Darryl M
    Wichita, KS

    I think they were trying to give the class a better visual of distance for the shot they were about to make. Some people use all the way up to a 7 iron depending on what shot they are trying to hit. High soft shot VS pitch & roll.

    My setup is mostly the same for me with each club I chip & pitch with until I get to the half shots further out 20-40yds. I look for a landing point and not so much how far to the pin.

    But if this method works for people then it is a good method. Did it help you measure the shot better than just getting up to the ball & hitting the shot?
  19. Gabriel G

    Gabriel G
    Cedar Park, TX

    I use one method and basically one club. No way am I going to count off the distance and then chip. Jack used this method. Good enough for me.

  20. rymail00

    plattsburgh, NY

    Personally it seems like a very basic, and kind of closed minded way of thinking/approaching the short game. I suppose if someone is challenged at using wedges ect. around the greens it could be a great way to learn to use multiple clubs for certain distances.

    This is just an example, so take it for what it's worth, ok.... So using this method as described can work but there's so much more that goes into short game shots and decisions, like lie, slope, undulation, and amount of green to work with ect. I only say that because if you can have say like 30 foot pitch/chip, and when all those mentioned parameters come into play, and changed multiple times but still have that same 30 foot distance, it could leave someone with a dozen or more ways to play exactthat 30 foot shot (if every parameter was changed a bit for every shot like slope, undulation, lie ect. over, bsically say 20 different senarios for a 30 foot shot).

    So inconclusion yes that method can work in a broad form, but when it comes to getting up and down constantly way more often than not, I'd say this "may" hinder progress.

    Hope this makes sense, and again it can help, but may hinder imagination too.
  21. Frank P

    Frank P
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    Many years ago, I saw Ken Venturi do this at a clinic that he gave. He was a big proponent of one motion, change clubs for distance. he used to say "14 clubs, one swing". See if they still have his "Better Golf Now" video on Amazon. It was one of the best instruction videos out there. Very basic and easy to understand. The chipping distance is determined with practice.
  22. Lou G

    Lou G
    San Diego, CA

    Works. All you do is change the length of your backswing, the amount you choke down. To draw or fade you point the clubface to the target and swing along your feet.

    The one tip I remember was Tony Jacklin saying to hit "through the ball" vs "at it"

  23. Ken D

    Ken D
    Nashville, TN

    I was taught a similar method, except it was based on distance to green/landing spot. One to two club length would be a 7i/8i depending on roll out. 3 to 4 clubs, 9i/pw. Finally 5 and beyond, I use the aw/sw/lw.

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