Soft Landing Chip Shot: Learn This Skill

Here’s a scenario when hitting a soft landing chip shot is important. Picture a normal green that is pretty wide, and then picture a narrow green that is not very wide. Imagine you’ve sliced your approach shot with your iron and missed the green to the right about flag high.

However, since you’re coming from the side of the green now, the angle is bad for keeping a chip shot on the green since the green width is very narrow.

This situation calls for a soft landing chip shot. One that you hit from the rough, higher into the air, and it lands on the green softly, stopping fairly quickly. If you don’t execute a soft landing chip shot, then the ball will most likely roll across the green to the other side and roll off the green.

Soft landing chip shots come into play whenever you don’t have much green to work with before the hole and need the ball to stop quickly so it doesn’t roll too far past the hole.

How to Hit a Chip Shot that Lands Softly

1. Ball Position Forward in Stance

The first component of a soft chip shot is moving the ball position more forward in your stance. This keeps the club from having too much forward shaft lean. This also allows the club to slide under the ball and adds loft to the shot, helping you hit it higher.

The opposite effect would be placing the ball position back in the stance to hit a lower shot. Use ball position to manipulate the height of the shot.2

2. Use a High Lofted Wedge

The next part of your chip shot technique involves the club’s loft. You must play a higher lofted club, like a 60 degree wedge for example, or create more loft by opening the face (rotate it flatter to the ground). More loft helps the golf ball go higher during the chip shot.

Creating additional loft can be done during the chipping motion.

3. Use Wrist Hinge to Hit Higher Chips

You can hinge your wrists during the backswing, then release the hinge, creating some speed at impact to help hit the ball higher. Follow through so the clubhead stays equal to or ahead of the hands to maintain loft through the swing.

If the hands get too far forward of the clubhead, this promotes forward shaft lean at impact, causing the face to be delofted and hit lower chip shots.

4. Assess the Lie of the Chip Shot

Another factor that impacts the height of your chip shots is the lie. How is the golf ball sitting on the grass?

If you have a fluffed-up lie, it can be easier to glide the club under the ball and pop it up high for a soft landing chip shot.

5. Grip Higher on the Club Shaft

Some golfers like to choke down to gain control over a wedge when chipping. But for hitting higher flighted, soft landing chip shots, you’ll want to grip as high on the shaft handle as you can.

This helps the clubhead to swing underneath the ball easier, using the loft of the club to do the work.

6. Are You Playing a High Spin Golf Ball?

The final factor to consider when hitting a high flying, soft landing chip is the golf ball being used. Certain golf balls are designed for better short game performance and have better spin rates for wedge shots when compared to other golf balls.

A high quality golf ball will be more expensive but it’s worth it if you rely on short game shots to save your golf score often.

High quality golf ball examples include:

  • Titleist Pro V1
  • Titleist Pro V1x
  • TaylorMade TP5
  • TaylorMade TP5x
  • Srixon Z Star

Overall, consider these different factors that play a role in your ability to hit a soft landing chip shot. Practice this chip shot for 20-30 minutes a day for several weeks until you get really comfortable with it and can hit it on command.

Higher flighted chip shots are harder to control distance and landing spots so it takes longer to build skill. You’ll want to spend lots of time on this chip shot if you want to build skill quicker.

Finally, make sure to swing with a smooth swing tempo. Fast swing speeds can cause shots to come off too hot sometimes. Learn the controlled, smooth swing that gets the chip shot to come out of the rough softly. You’ll know what this feels like and the differences between the two shots once you’ve experienced them both.

Thanks for reading today’s short game tips on hitting better chip shots that come out of rough soft and land softly. For more practice routines to follow step by step check out our resources below.

Golf Practice Plans to Follow

Thanks for reading today’s article!

Nick Foy – Golf Instructor

nick foy golf academy
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