4  Point chipping checklist to fix your chipping in next to no-time.
1    Get your weight on the front foot.
When we are chipping, the goal is precision, not power. It is vital for our distance control that we make contact with the ground in the same spot every time. One of the most effective technical measures we can take to ensure this is to push our knees toward the target at set-up, and keep them there throughout the stroke. In many cases the average golfer will move their weight back on the backswing, then forward again on the downswing. This can work if we time it correctly, but it is introducing a variable into the swing that isn’t required. Simply push the knees toward the target at address, then keep them there. This will ensure that the low point of the swing will happen at the same point consistently, thus leading to more consistent contact, and better distance control.
2    Keep your hands ahead of the clubhead.
When hitting a chip shot, we are looking for a descending blow. Keeping our hands ahead of the clubhead will help achieve this. When setting up,  right handers align the back of your left hand with the middle of your left leg. This will create almost a straight line between your shoulder and the clubhead. During the swing, keeping a firm left wrist will help keep the hands ahead of the clubhead, and make speed control much easier. Just remember that keeping the hands ahead of the clubhead will bring the flight of the ball lower.
3    Control the length of your backswing.

Keeping control of the length of your backswing will allow you to move the clubhead with smooth acceleration through impact. Aim to have the backswing the same length as your follow-through, if not slightly shorter. The movement should be smooth with the least amount of tension possible in your arms. A good way to set this up is to think of a tube of toothpaste with the lid removed, hold the tube but without squeezing out the toothpaste.

4    Choose the right club.

As a general rule the quicker we can get the ball down on the ground and running, the more consistent we will be. One of the main benefits of a running style chip shot is that even a miss-hit shot will often have a good result. In order to keep the ball low and running without having to worry about controlling spin, it is important to select the right club. When practicing chipping use different clubs depending on how much green you have between your ball and the hole. For example, if you have only to carry the ball one third of the total distance through the air, an 8 iron might be a good choice. If you need to carry the ball half-way a pitching wedge could be a good choice. This will vary depending on the player. Practice landing the ball on different areas and watch how much carry and how much run you get with each different club.

If you can go to the chipping green and work your way through this checklist, you should find the quality of your chipping improving in no time, leading to shorter putts and lower scores.

Chris Britnell
Member of PGA of Australia