Five Ways To Better Chipping with Nick Dougherty

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Chipping is one of those things which, if you get wrong, can make you look a bit of a fool; and yet, with these few tips you can never duff the ball again.

You can spot a bad chipper before he takes the club back. They hunch over the ball and grip the club much too tightly. With their stroke they jab or stab at the ball. If they hit ball first they hit it absolutely miles; and then now and again they will lay the sod over the top of the ball.

Grip the club really loosely

Grip
Grip the club really loosely. Think of the grip of your club as if it were a baby bird.

Tempo
Make sure your tempo is smooth the whole way through the stroke, especially at the bottom. Don’t jab at the ball. Think smooth.

Longer chips
For longer chips, just make your swing a bit longer. This means you’ve got more time for the club to swing and you will find there will be less of a jab at the bottom. And because there’s less speed at the bottom of your swing, you will have more control – so it’s much easier to gauge distances and change distances.

Use the bounce

Use the bounce
So many amateurs come in steeply with the leading edge. The problem then is you’ve got no margin for error; if you come in tight to the ball you skull it across the green, and if you hit the turf first you will duff it. Wedges are designed to literally bounce off the turf. This gives you much more margin for error because even if you are a touch behind the ball, the club will still bounce and make contact. It won’t have quite as good a strike on it, but your misses won’t be as bad.


Stay over the ball

Stay over the ball
Keep your sternum over the golf ball, throughout the stroke. Amateurs tend to want to ‘lift’ the ball out the rough, so the natural tendency is to lean back. That’s when the trouble starts, because then you’ll make contact with the ground early.