One of my good golfing buddies was terrible around the greens when I first met him. He was an average putter but if he was not on the green he was going to take a 6 or 7 on the hole. He actually gave up on holes before he even approached his chip at times. I see this all too often with amateur golfers. There is a quick fix and it has made him a much better golf. You absolutely must accelerate the club through the ball. Here is how:
Most bad chippers and pitchers of the golf ball have a fast take away and they slow their club down at impact. They stab at the ball, hit it thin and it goes across the green. They walk across the green and repeat the process. This is how they quickly approach triple digits during each round of golf. If you have learn how to chip and putt you should have no problems breaking 100, even if you only drive the ball 220 yards.
When addressing a chip remember that your hands must be in front of the ball at impact. For this reason, many of the better chippers and short game players in the world will forward press their short irons and wedges. If you forward press and hold the angle you will guarantee your hands are in front of the ball at impact. You may not be able to hit a super high flop shot but we are just trying to get your ball on the green. No sack of potatoes stuff quite yet.
Also important at address is posture. Most amateur golfers I see completely lose focus of posture when they are chipping. They have great posture on their driver and iron swings but the droop or slouch on their chips. Get that ass out! Get your angles correct, forward press and remember to hold the angle. I always like to take a few practice swings with my 60 degree wedge before I hit my chip.
Something that is very important when chipping is to keep your club face square all the way through impact. This is how I learned to hit irons correctly. When watching me play you may mistake my full swing for irons as a chipping motion. Let’s just say that I keep my club face square and I make great contact. I digress.
During my practice swings I go back very slow, transition slow and then speed up right before impact. You will find that if you do this correctly your wedge goes perfectly through the place in which your ball will be on the actual chip. You may want to try this in some high grass just to see how your club face is coming through impact. If you can get this feel down you can become a fantastic chipper of the ball.
You are going to skull and thin plenty of wedges, I promise. I tend to use my 60 degree wedge for all my chips but that will likely not be the best idea for you. Start with a pitching wedge or approach wedge just so it won’t be such a precise contact point. As you improve you will find that you can hit a 52 or 56 degree wedge when chipping. When you have put in hundreds of hours you will then be able to use the 60 or 64 degree wedge and show off in front of your friends.
Practice accelerating your club through impact and you will get much better at chipping. My buddy that I mentioned in the beginning has done this and it has improved his game drastically. So much so that he is now chipping the ball to within tap in range. It has not been good for our money games but it is nice to see him enjoying the game of golf much more.