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Watch your fundamentals when chipping

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By The Staff

Every golfer knows the frustrations of getting around the green and not being able to put the ball into the hole. A skulled chip shot across the green can destroy your score. By concentrating on some key fundamentals, you will be able to have a new found success around the green.

The first thing to focus on is your weight distribution at set-up. When chipping, your weight should be distributed with about 60 percent of it on your front foot. The ball position can vary, depending on the desired trajectory and the distance that the shot needs to travel for a good chip, but as a general rule of thumb, it should be in the middle of your stance. The weight distribution along with the proper ball position allows you to hit down on the ball. Hitting down on the ball makes the ball fly up in the air, using the loft of the club. 

When gripping the club, it is best to use the same grip as your full swing but to choke down on the club. In other words, bring your hands down on the grip. This will give you better control of the club because it is shorter.

Another important factor during the chip shot is to make sure the follow through and backswing are the same length. This ensures that you accelerate through the ball.

As a final aspect, pay attention to the distance control on your shots.  The way to control the distance on your shots is to control your backswing. The backswing is what gauges how far the ball will travel.  Therefore, it is important to know how far you hit the ball with different backswings. Consistently having the correct distance will keep the ball around the hole and give you a chance of getting up and down from around the green.

As you are able to become more confident in these fundamentals you will be able to improve your chipping around the green and subsequently lower your scores.

Josh Miller is a Class A PGA member and a graduate of New Mexico State University’s Professional Golf Management Program. Miller takes an individualized approach to teaching golf, knowing that everyone’s body and experience level is different. He can be contacted by phone at 720-234-3560 or by e-mail jgmiller@pga.com.