My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Chipping:

Explain how I can get my ball in the air consistently when chipping. It always seems to fly over the green, but not in the air.
--Jane M. from Bethalto, IL

Thanks for the question Jane!

It sounds like you are skulling the ball where you are hitting it with the leading edge of your club and too high on the ball rather than hitting down on the ball and contacting it with the grooves on the club face. This often comes from trying to help or scoop the ball into the air.

Remember golf is a game of opposites. For the ball to go up, you must hit down. A downward blow where you contact the ball first and then hit a little bit of turf after the ball leaves the club face will not only send the ball back up into the air, but it will impart spin on the ball allowing it to check up with control once it hits the green. To get spin it is important to catch the ball clean without any grass or dirt between the club face and the ball. This will allow the dimples on the ball to work with the grooves on your club face and create a controllable backspin.

Hopefully you are using a lofted wedge such as a sand wedge or lob wedge when around the green. These clubs will allow for loft plus backspin.

As a fun little drill try placing a penny two inches in front of your ball. Next, set up to hit your chip, but hover the club head in the air. In other words, don't ground it. Since you are starting with the club head up, it will encourage you to hit down through the shot. Think "up to down" or "high to low" as you swing. Try to hit your ball and then the penny. If you move the penny after impact you can be assured that you are hitting down with a descending blow.

Hope this helps and be sure to check out the Chipping Section under Golf Instruction on our site to get more tips and drills to help improve your shots around the greens.


Other Related Tips on Chipping
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
- Driving (68)
- Putting (127)
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
- Lack of Distance (108)
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
- Grip (65)
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)