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Save strokes with better chipping.

Save strokes with better chipping.

Save strokes with great chipping.

Hi, I’m Mel Sole, Director of Instruction at the Mel Sole Golf School, headquartered at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club in Pawleys Island, SC.  We conduct 1, 2 and 3-day golf schools, hourly golf lessons, and senior golf schools—any golf instruction program your heart desires. Give us a call at 800-624-4653 or 843-237-4993.  We will be happy to book a commuter school or a package that contains accommodations, golf, and golf school.

Monthly Golf Tips by the Mel Sole Golf School.

Being a good chipper has made many PGA and LPGA players with mediocre long games an excellent living.  And people like Luke Donald have reached the #1 spot in the world solely because of his magic short game!

Mel’s Chipping Formula.

I use the formula for chipping because the Pitching Wedge will fly 1/2 way and roll 1/2 way. So an 8 iron will fly 1/3 and roll 2/3 of the way, and a 6 iron will fly 1/4 and roll 3/4.  

The Golden Rule in Chipping.

The golden rule in chipping is to fly the ball in the air as little as possible and roll the ball as much as possible (while still landing the ball on the putting surface).  There are 3 reasons that I use this method.  1. Using a less lofted club, I will make a smaller swing.  The smaller the swing, the less likelihood of making an error. 2. With a less lofted club, the roll will be much more predictable. 

I know that if I’m chipping with a straight-faced club, there will be no backspin. On the other hand, if I chip with a sand wedge or lob wedge, sometimes the ball will check (if I nip it just right) and sometimes it won’t.  That makes distance control much harder.  Anf the third reason is most probably the most important.  The miss-hits will end up closer.  Because I’m making a small swing, if I hit the ball a little thin, yes, the ball will roll past the hole, but It won’t go screaming over the green!

The Method.

Put your two feet together with the ball right in the middle of your toes.  Turn both feet toward the hole without moving the heels.  This will give you the correct ball position.  The butt of the club should be over your lead thigh.  This gives you the proper hand position and forward shaft lean.

The Skill.

The skill, in this case, is being able to land the ball in the right spot. Then, the formulas will take care of the roll.  The principle I use is like a basketball player shooting hoops.  He looks at the rim and shoots.  If the shot is too hard, the next one is softer.  If the shot is too soft, the next one is harder.  Each shot is an adjustment on the previous shot—no difference in chipping.  Do your practice swings standing next to the ball.  When you do your practice swings to decide how hard to hit it, keep your eyes focused on the landing spot.  Don’t allow your eyes to move back and forth from ball to landing spot. 

Keep focused on the landing spot for three of four swings.  Then place the club behind the ball, and without looking up, go ahead and make the stroke.  If the ball lands too far, the next chip is softer.  If the ball lands too short, the next chip is harder.  Every chip is an adjustment on the previous chip.  This is called developing feel.  Keep doing this until you can land the ball on the spot fairly consistently.

The Problems.

If you feel you are landing the ball on the spot and going too far past the hole, it is pace.  Make sure your grip pressure is soft, and the clubhead moves back and through like a pendulum.  There is no intentional acceleration.

If you feel you are landing the ball on the spot and coming up short, it is most probably a breakdown of the lead wrist, adding loft to the club, causing the ball to roll less. Make sure the lead wrist stays flat during the entire chipping stroke.

Once you understand and trust these formulas (like I do), then your chipping will save you tons of strokes during your rounds, and of course, lower your handicap!


Join Mel Sole in this month’s Mel In Motion video golf tip and learn some simple techniques that will help you improve your chipping beyond what you thought was possible. It won’t take much practice, but it will make you a better chipper!

Source: Mel Sole Golf School.

Thanks for watching – Save strokes with better chipping.  This should lower your scores immediately!

Related Post.

Roll 3 shots into 2 – Short Game Saturday #40.

Try the 6-8-10 Chipping Method.

As Gary Player says, Learn to roll 3 shots into 2!

Chipping Formulas – Course Management Wednesday #4.

Another way to line up correctly.



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