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 have trouble with the short game. Judging which club to use and getting closer to the pin when I chip is difficult. I always have LONG putts. Can you offer suggestions?
--Kathy H. from Dewitt, MI

Hi Kathy. Thanks for writing

I'd love to help you get your chip shots closer to the green. First of all I need you to practice something and then we can explore if there is anything in your technique we need to improve.

For a couple weeks I'd like you to go to the practice green where you are allowed to chip. I then want you to work on two things:

First I want you to read the practice green just like you would a putt. Pick the exact spot on the green where you think you need to land your ball. Place a tee or a coin on the green. Then practice hitting your shots and only focusing on your landing spot. If you are hitting the landing spot and the ball is rolling too much or too little adjust clubs appropriately. If we can get you focused on picking a perfect spot and controlling the flight to that spot, you should start getting your ball to roll up next to the pin. Do this for several different targets.

Next, place a coin on the green about 15 feet on. Take all your clubs and I mean all of them and try to make a pendulum bump and run swing to get the ball to land near the coin. Watch how far each club rolls. Even better yet you can step off each club and write it down. What you are learning is the roll that each club gives you and the difference between all your clubs. This will allow you to better choose the appropriate club for the chip at hand when you are on the course.

Try these two drills and give them a couple weeks so that you can experiment and get used to them. If after that you are having a more specific problem like contact or direction write back and I will gladly help you figure it out.

Best of luck and please start entering your scores in the Game Tracker and your practice in the Practice Planner so that I may more accurately help you with 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)