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Three Chipping Drills to Improve Your Short Game in Golf

golf club and golf ball with chip shot sign

As any experienced golfer knows, mastering your short game is essential for achieving lower scores on the golf course. An integral part of this is chipping (and of course, putting!). Your short game comes down to the shots you take around the fringe of the putting green or the ones you take 100-130 yards out.

We all know that feeling of getting close to the green and then messing up the hole by sculling or blading a chip shot. Masterful chipping will save you strokes, but requires precision and finesse in order to produce those consistent results. Here’s three drills for effective golf chipping that can help take your game to new heights!

Three Drills for Effective Golf Chipping

Drill 1: The “Y” Shape or Triangle Drill

This first drill is more of a golf tip. But, it will help you perfect that feel of the swing when you chip. Using one of your wedges - whether that be a pitching wedge, gap wedge, etc. - practice swinging your club while maintaining a "Y" shape with your arms down to the club throughout the entire swing motion. By practicing this way, you are ensuring your upper body is doing most of the work as your arms and wrists stay locked in.

female golfer hitting a chip shot using the "Y" angle

It will be different from hitting a tee shot. But, again, it is something that you need to get a feel for through practice. And, don’t forget about having good posture. This helps develop consistency & reliability when executing chip shots during actual rounds played out on the course!

boy taking a golf lesson from golf instructor

Drill 2: Practice from Different Distances

Similar to practicing on a putting mat, practicing from different distances will build confidence and improve your game. This can be done around a putting green, the driving range, or your backyard. Instead of repeatedly chipping from one spot, try hitting chips from 5 yards away then 10 yards away then 15 yards away (and so forth). Added tip, use a hula hoop, any shaped object as a target and aim your chips towards it. Another way to practice this drill is to focus on select distance markers at the driving range and hit 10-20 balls aiming directly at the marker. Doing so will help build muscle memory so that when faced with similar situations out on the course, you'll know exactly how much club is needed for each shot!

Male Golfer Chipping Golf Balls from a Distance

Drill 3: Play Chipping Games

This one is our favorite. Don't forget about having some fun while practicing those all-important chip shots! After all, Golf is a game. Why not play a game within the game? Playing these with friends or family members can be great ways of honing skills while enjoying yourself at the same time - plus who doesn't like some competition & winning?! Two fun games you can play are the “Slam Dunk Chipping Contest” and the “18 Hole Chipping Game”. 

Friends Partaking in a Golf Chipping Contest

In the “Slam Dunk Chipping Content”, select a distance of about 10-30 yards outside of a green with the intent of being the first to slam dunk your shot directly into the hole (or a cup/bucket). Go back and forth with “your opponents” to see who is the first to do it! This game may take a while, but you will have fun playing it.

In the “18 Hole Chipping Game”, you set up a 9 or 18 hole “course” around the putting green hole or target with each hole being a par 2. When developing your “course”, create “tee boxes” (with tees or alignment sticks) based on different distances or different lies (fluffy grass, downhill, or tight). Keep track of your scores and over time see if you’ve beaten your “course” record. This will be a sure sign of improvement.

Let the games begin and enjoy the fun that will ensue as you perfect your short game. Golfers everywhere should be able to take their games up several notches & enjoy greater success out there with these three drills. Remember, having fun out there can sometimes be what you need to unlock those short game skills. Good luck & happy chipping everyone!