How to Chip It Closer to the Hole (Chipping Tips)

If you’re struggling to get your chip shots close to the hole, then you’re in the right place. In this guide I share several chipping tips that I’ve learned on my journey to becoming a scratch golfer that have helped me improve my short game and get up & down consistently.

Chipping is a skill you must get really good at because most golfers are not going to hit that many greens in regulation during a golf round. On most holes when you miss a green, you’ll want to rely on your chipping to get the ball close to the hole so you can have a shot at sinking a par putt still.

Chipping is the area of your golf game you should spend the most time, with putting being 2nd, and golf swing 3rd.

You’ll see the fastest improvement in your golf scores when you become a very skilled chipper with your wedges. This has been proven through my years of monitoring students golf games as well as my own golf handicap journey.

Here are the important tips you need to know to help you chip it closer to the hole.

#1: Improve Chip Shot Consistency

This is the number one chipping tip to get us started in today’s tips on chipping closer to the hole. Most golfers will see the fastest improvement in their chipping by becoming more consistent with the chip shot contact.

If you chunk, top, or shank your chip shots often then you have a consistency problem with making solid contact on your chip shots.

The fix for this is to work on improving your chipping technique and to hit hundreds of chip shots. By using the proper chip shot technique, you will make a better swing, striking the ball more consistently.

Chipping Technique Tips:

  • Body weight shifted more forward on lead leg
  • Ball position middle of stance
  • Slight forward shaft lean (hands ahead of clubface)
  • Keep the hands leading ahead of the club during the chip shot
  • Strike down on the golf ball – don’t try to help the ball up by swinging up on it.
  • Smooth tempo – don’t get too quick and don’t decelerate on the downswing

Practice your alignment with your stance during the pre-shot routine. Get properly aligned to aim your shot at your intended target spot on the green.

I see too many golfers improperly aligned to their chip shot and this leads them to hit shots too far right or left of the target because it’s where they were aimed.

#2: Choose the Right Club to Chip With

This chipping tip goes along with tip #1 in helping you improve your consistency at getting the ball closer to the hole.

I see so many beginners using too lofted of a wedge for all of their chip shots. They try to force a 60 degree wedge to work as the chipping club, when in reality a 54 or 50 degree wedge would be a more efficient chipping club at hitting shots close to the hole.

The reason is the loft affects the roll of the golf ball.

In my opinion and experience, it’s easier to hit the golf ball a shorter distance onto the green and let it roll on the green like a putt most of the way to the hole. As opposed to trying to hit a flop shot that flies most of the distance to the hole, lands, and has very little roll.

Trying to consistently land the ball far away from you on the green, close to the hole, is harder to do than the bump and run chip shot with a less lofted wedge.

Try clubbing down to a lower lofted club and hit several chip shots to a hole, in addition to hitting a higher lofted wedge and see which one gives you better results in terms of consistency.

The less lofted club might hit 6 out of 10 balls close to the hole, for example, while the 60 degree high lofted wedge might struggle to hit 3 out of 10 close to the hole.

#3: Become Good at Reading Greens

One of the important skills in golf is reading greens. This helps you play smarter golf shots, choosing the right club, and aligning to the hole properly based on how the green is going to affect the chip shot when the ball lands and starts rolling.

Reading greens takes time as you have to play a lot of golf and see a lot of different scenarios to learn how slope and gravity affect the golf ball.

Before hitting each chip shot, make sure to analyze where the slopes and mounds are on the green that will funnel the ball towards the low points on the green. Gravity likes to pull a golf ball downwards towards the low point.

When you’re chipping uphill, the chip shot will roll slower and stop sooner. When chipping downhill, account for gravity helping pull the ball down the hill causing the ball to roll faster and farther than expected.

Squat down low to the ground so you can get your eyes more level with the green to see any slopes, breaks, features on the green that will affect the shot.

Do this before every practice shot so you can learn how to read greens faster by comparing what your eyes saw to what happens when you finally hit the chip shot and watch how the ball rolls across the green.

Did it break as much as you thought you saw when you read the green? Did you analyze the speed correctly?

Don’t just mindlessly hit chip shots on the practice green. Slow down and read the green before each practice shot to get experience in your memory bank faster.

Resource: How to Score in the 70’s Golf Training Plan

#4: Carry vs Roll Ratio

Learn the different carry vs roll ratios of your chipping clubs. If they all are hit the same distance and land on the same spot, which clubs roll out more and how much more do they roll?

Certain scenarios will require a flop shot and other scenarios will require a bump and run shot.

It’s important to know the carry to roll ratio of your chipping clubs so you can choose the correct landing spot on the green to chip to and get consistent roll out to the hole when you do successfully hit your landing spot.

A good test is to create a small square using ball markers on the green as a landing zone to land golf balls inside of the square zone.

Pick a spot so many yards away like 5 yards, for example, to chip from so the carry distance is consistent during the test.

Hit several chip shots with each club, landing them on the fly in the square zone, then watch how far away from the square zone they finish when they roll out on the green. Measure the final distance the ball is from the landing zone so you can calculate the carry (5 yards) vs the roll (5-15 yards).

It the ball is chipped 5 yards through the air, lands on the square zone, then continues to roll another 10 yards farther away from the landing spot, then this is a 5:10 ratio. In other words, you’re getting 1 yard of carry for every 2 yards of roll.

Compare this to your other chipping clubs to see how the loft change affects the carry vs roll ratio. Repeat this drill several times to get consistent data to go off of in your experiment.

#5: Practice 1,000s of Chipping Reps

Once you feel like you have solid chipping technique, then the next step is getting tons of high quality practice reps in.

It takes about 10 minutes to hit 40-50 chip shots if you are using sets of 5 golf balls.

In a half hour you can easily hit over 100 chip shots on the practice green.

But doing this one time won’t get you better at chipping. You need to build a practice schedule where you come to the course frequently and complete 100+ reps of chipping per practice. Do this for several weeks and you’ll achieve thousands of chip shot reps.

After you get in several thousand chip shots, you’ll be much improved at being able to land the ball where you want to and getting chip shots to finish close to the hole.

Don’t settle and think 50 chip shots is enough. Think 5,000 chip shots. 100 per day for 50 days. It only takes 30 minutes to hit 100-150 chip shots.

Practice from various lies in the rough so you can learn how the ball will come out of the rough when it’s buried down in the grass, or when it’s sitting up on a nice fluffy lie. Learn how to hit chip shots off hard pan, fringe, fairway, etc. so you are well versed from various lies on the golf course.

Overall, these are 5 simple but effective ways to hit chip shots closer to the hole. Make sure to get properly setup and aligned to the target. Swing with proper technique to make more consistent contact with the golf ball.

Practice 1000’s of reps and learn how to read the green and adjust for break. Factor in green speed and slopes to learn how much the golf ball will roll when it lands and how far from the hole to land the ball on the green to give room for the roll out.

Golf Practice Plans to Follow

Thanks for reading today’s article!

Nick Foy – Golf Instructor

nick foy golf academy
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