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How do you like your chips?

How do you like your chips?

There are many different theories on how to chip in golf. Some golfers use mainly one club for all their chips, others use many different clubs. My personal preference is the latter.

Going back a few years ago when the equipment technology wasn’t as good as it is now, golfers were required to manipulate the clubs to accomplish a wider variety of golf shots.

These days there are several options available to us for example, lob wedges, gap wedges, rescue woods and for some there are even chippers in today’s market.

Before you decide if these clubs are of value to you, you need to know how and when to play each club. Remembering there is not a right and wrong way to get a golf ball around the golf course and this is advice.

There are 3 types of golfers, these are as follows –

[if !supportLists]1. [endif]The person who likes the look of a fancy high shot which doesn’t often work but when it does it looks great, so they insist of trying to do this all the time.

[if !supportLists]2. [endif]The person who only knows how to play one type of shot so tries to avoid playing the other as much as possible.

[if !supportLists]3. [endif]Finally, the third person who will play any shot which will likely produce the best result no matter how pretty or ugly the shot may be.

It’s safe to say the third option above will be the better golfer. Golf is about one number. That number being the number on your scorecard at the end of the round.

If you have the right technique to chip effectively, when you chip a golf ball the club used will determine how high or low that shot will go. In this scenario we will use an 8 iron, Pitching wedge, Sand wedge and a Lob wedge.

If the ball is hit with each club with the same technique the 8 iron will give the lowest flight therefore will have the most role when the ball lands. This will be followed by the PW, SW and then the Low wedge being the highest flighted club.

The way I would try to describe how to chip would to be to imagine yourself throwing a golf ball underarm. Would you throw that ball as high as you possibly could? The answer most of the time would be no, so why try to hit the ball as high as possible.

Would you try and roll the ball 100% of the way? Possibly, this is when a putter might be the best option or even your rescue wood. Most of the time a flight in between these already mentioned would be best. As I mentioned before, there is no right and wrong, but some will be more forgiving.

If you imagine having a 20-yard chip shot with nothing between yourself and the flag except flat ground and short grass. The swing you would need to produce enough power to get a lob wedge all the way there would be far greater then with an 8 iron.

If you now imagine miss hitting the lob wedge with that length of swing the bad shot will be much worse then if you miss hit an 8 iron with a fraction of the power. Sometimes you must think worst case scenario as well as the best possible outcome. This is not negative it is sensible!

Below are three pictures of golfer’s practising chipping. The first two pictures show them using mid iron clubs to chip with. Look at the length of swing needed to produce enough power. If you look at the third picture imagine if the golfer miss hit that shot, how bad the shot could end up being. It’s safe to say this golfer is practising with a much more lofted club which explains the extra length in his swing. This is what causes this type of shot to become high risk.

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If there was a bunker in between the golfer and the green, the club selection is sometimes taken out of your hands. You must then weigh up your options of whether the risk of trying a high risk (high shot) is worth the reward. You may decide to not take the shot on leaving you to play an extra shot around the bunker.

You may think this is costing you a shot but what if you ended up going in the bunker after a miss hit attempt. You could be looking at two, three or four extra shots or worse.

I suggest you practise with several different clubs to give yourself more shot selections on the golf course. You may still find you have a favourite type of shot and that is fine, but you won’t always be able top play that shot and if it is a high risk shot you will not be as effective as you could be.

Course management and shot/club selection are often aspects of the golf game we cover in lessons. If you feel this is a part of your game you could improve your ability or knowledge on please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you are interested in discussing ways to improve your course management and your short game skills, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or to find out more information; please phone me on 01738 440678 or email me at

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