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:

I am inconsistent with my chips and short pitches. Can you offer suggestions?
--James N. from Norwalk, CT

Hi James. Thanks for writing I am looking forward to helping you improve your game.

Consistency with the short game lies in 2 things:
1) Being about to make solid, crisp contact
2) Being able to control your distances

To make solid contact with your wedges you need to make sure that you are keeping your hands ahead of the clubhead through impact and hitting down with a descending blow. This will allow you to catch the ball clean avoiding getting grass and dirt caught between the clubfce and the ball. The result is more control and spin on the green. If you aren't making solid contact, it's nearly impossible to be consistent with your distance control. Thin shots will over run the green and fat shots will come up short.

When it comes to controlling the distance the ball flies and rolls, controlling the length of your swing is also a must. Here is a great article that will help you dial in your distances:

The Basic Pitch Shot:

Improving your distance control by controlling the length of your backswing and the amount of acceleration you put into the shot will help you zero in on your target and leave more makeable putts.

If you are having problems with your contact here is one of my favorite drills that I will give to you for free to try and see if it helps you get more spin and control around the greens:

Coin Down Drill:
Coin Down Drill

I hope that helps James and let me know if you have any other questions regarding your short game or any other part of your game.


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)