Good chippers have control over the strike, flight and roll of the ball.
They have gained this control because they have a sound technique that is simple to repeat. So how do you become a good, confident chipper?
Good chippers follow some golden rule, the first of which is a narrow stance. Essentially, you are trying to pivot around your left leg so, in order to make this move consistently, you should adopt a stance which has your heels about a clubhead width apart, above left. Having a narrow stance also allows you to keep your spine directly above the ball at address and throughout the move, so about 60% of your weight starts and stays on your left foot.
The second rule is to have the ball opposite the left heel and about one inch in front of the middle of your stance.
"At the end of the chip, the hips, chest and belt buckle should point at the target."
This allows the shaft of the club to be set at the correct angle at address as it was designed to be used. The shaft should be near vertical, with little or no leaning of the shaft toward or away from the target.
Rule three is that good chippers keep their hands quiet when chipping. They move the club by a gentle turn of the hips, shoulders and arms, as opposed to a sharp movement of the wrists. At the end of the chip, the hips, chest and belt buckle should point at the target, shaft of the club extending from belt buckle to the target with all the weight on the left foot.
As you can see, above, my spine started over the ball at address, stayed over the ball during the swing and finished over the ball at the finish, above right, no leaning back or falling forward. Follow these rules and you will flush your chips!
Murray Urquhart is the head PGA professional at Spey Valley and a former European Tour player. For lessons, call Murray on 01479 811725.