If you've played golf for any length of time at all, you know that chip shots are one of the most important shots in your arsenal.
Well-executed chip shots are absolutely mandatory for keeping your score down. The reason for that is simple: In any round of golf you WILL be faced with at least a few chip shots in order to get on the green.
How you play those chip shots determine how the ball lands on the green (or in some cases, overshoots the green). In other words, a chip shot is a set up shot for your putt... or at least it should be.
In technical terms, a chip shot is a low-flying, long rolling shot that is normally hit from fairly close to the green. The trick is the shot should hit the green immediately and then ROLL toward the hole. With this in mind, one of the more difficult parts of chipping is selecting the right club to get the job done.
Choosing the right club for the shot depends on how the ball is laying and how far it has to fly before it can hit the green.
As with all of these tips, what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. But, in general, you want to get that ball on the green and rolling as quickly as possible. You do not want to lob it high in the air and let the wind dictate where it goes. In order to do this, you need to be comfortable with a small arsenal of clubs that you can use in your chip shots.
A good idea is to start with your 7 iron and work your way down to your pitching wedge. If you try to master and use just one club for all of your chip shots, you'll have to make some big adjustments for each shot depending on how far it is from the green. For example, a shot made with a pitching wedge from 50 yards will take a lot more force than a shot made with the same club from 10 yards. However, if you take those same shots using other clubs (and those clubs will depend on your personal game) then your swing (the arc and speed) can remain close to what you're used to with that club. In other words, let the club do the work.
As with everything in golf, the very best way to implement this tip is to practice. Use your pitching wedge when the ball is close to the green, or if you need to go over a trouble area. Then experiment with other clubs when the ball is farther off the green. How you play these various clubs is truly up to the individual player.
But nothing will be gained without some practice.