How to Approach a Chip Shot Without Scooping

In this excerpt from episode 803 of 18 Holes, “The Links at Echo Springs”, Jimmy Hanlin and Carling Nolan demonstrate how to approach a chip shot without scooping the ball—something that is common for a lot of golfers to do in order to loft the ball up in the air is to get it in motion toward the green.

Chip shots are simply short, low-approach shots meant to pop the ball into the air and then land on the green and roll forward toward the hole. Just think of chipping away at a block of ice. You never try to scoop out the ice, but instead you use short, precise motions to chip away at the block and allow chunks of ice to break away.

Point Your Wedge Downward

A solid chipping technique involves the clubhead traveling downward upon impact. In fact, no matter what kind of shot Carling is taking, she always points her wedge downward to avoid that scooping motion. Instead of using that motion to get the ball up in the air, you should rely on the club’s loft to get that lift you need.

Put Your Weight on Your Left Side

Another key way to avoid “the scoop” is to put all of your weight on your left foot and lightly balance with your right. This stance helps keep you ahead of the ball and therefore unable to “help” it into the air with a scooping motion.

Make Your Backswing Short and Swift

The key to a great chip shot is making a short backswing without hinging your wrists. You’ll notice that your arms and hands form a triangle when you’re in position, and that triangle should hold strong throughout the swing. While you do want to hold that triangle position to get the right force on the ball, it’s important to stay relaxed and not become rigid.

Take a look at the video to see for yourself how the pros tackle chip shots! Be sure to check back for new golf pro tips, or contact us today to learn more about how GolfGreens® can help you improve your game!