In my last article, I discussed putting tempo and how the dimensions of the green, swing length, and speed of swing all contribute to the tempo. Let’s now discuss chipping technique. With chipping technique, you’re not placed on the green but around the fringes or the surrounds of the putting surface.
In days gone by, chipping or chip and run was usually played when the player was three to five meters from the green. There would be no obstructions on the green stopping the ball running to the hole, and it was mostly played with a 7 iron. With new course design and undulating greens that include sharp contours and deep inset bunkers, this shot has developed into a variety of possibilities. The distance that this shot is played from the green hasn't varied, but what has changed is the use of a varying amount of clubs.
The technique for this shot is also mostly the same; the video below can help you eliminate one or two of the common problems that may arise in your game. A consistent length of swing with good rhythm and no deceleration of the club-head through impact is vital. However, the shot also consists of three points that must be considered before playing the shot:
The amount of area you have to work and any obstacle that lies in front of you
The contours on the green
The line the ball must travel
During putting, you are looking for the line and break point. When chipping, you are looking for the landing area, estimating the speed of the green, the slopes on the green, and choosing your club. The final piece of the jigsaw is your ability to land the ball on the spot you have chosen and to stop it by the hole.
Golfers used to speak about the feel for the shot; the ability with a couple of practice swings to determine how far back and how fast you should swing with the correct club to play the shot correctly. Feel can only be achieved with practice and experience, so get out in the garden or to the local course and start practicing.