Three Point Check-Up for Mastering The “Bump & Run” Chip Shot
By Sheryl Maize
By definition, the chip is a low rolling shot used around the green when you have a lot of green between you and the pin. It usually consists of approximately 1/3 air time and 2/3 rolling time on the green. Club choice is usually a 7 or 8 iron, but may vary if you are going uphill or downhill.
1.) The Super Set-Up:
Your feet should be close together and slightly open with your weight leaning into your target side. (Check out the pictures to see the difference between putting your weight on your target foot and leaning into your target side—You do not want to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.)
Your arms and shaft should form a small letter “y” with your hands positioned off the inside of your target leg. Throughout your shot, the shaft should be leaning towards the target.
2.) The Perfect Impact Position:
Since the chip shot is such a small swing, your set up position is a pretty good preview of your impact position: about 75% of your weight should be on your target foot, hands are ahead of the club head with the shaft leaning towards the target, hips slightly open and your head is still behind the ball.
If your weight is on your back foot or your club head has passed your hands at impact, you will often top it (scull it along the ground) or hit behind it (chunking it). When most of your weight is on your target foot and your hands are leading the club into impact, it encourages a descending blow which pops the ball up and gives the grass a “hair cut.”
3.) The Fantastic Finish:
Once you’ve hit your shot, hold your finish. This is your time to get feedback on what you’ve just done. Is your weight mostly on your target foot? Have you allowed your body to turn in harmony with your arms? Is your “y” still intact or have you “broken the tip off” by getting wristy? (The shaft of your club should be an extension of your left arm.)
At one of the golf schools I taught at for years, we worked on improving our student’s swings by helping them get into better impact positions. One of the best ways to do this is to work on your chipping. When you learn to hit crisp chip shots, your full swing will improve also!