Master Your Short Game with 5 Proven Drills

Master Your Short Game with 5 Proven Drills

Improve your short game with 5 simple but super effective drills created by biomechanics expert Tyler Ferrell.

Regain confidence in your short game with 5 simple but super effective drills.

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9 Effective Chipping Tips for Senior Golfers (That Actually Work)

Here’s the good news: as a senior golfer, you can be just as good at chipping as a 30 year old golfer.

The problem is that most seniors focus too much on hitting the golf ball further and regaining those extra few yards they have lost, so they skip out on chipping practice and improvement.

If you are ready to leave a few of those yards behind and actually start scoring lower than you did when you were younger, you are in the right place.

Here are 9 chipping tips for seniors that you can implement into your golf game today.

Golf Chipping for Seniors (Key Takeaways)

Here are a few of the key takeaways that you might want to focus on while improving your chipping.

  • Use a larger grip to lower tension in your hands.
  • Learn to use more than one club to chip with.
  • Keep the lead wrist more flexed at impact.
  • Think about switching to graphite shafts and a slightly higher spinning ball so you can get some better touch and feel around the greens.
  • Narrow your stance and lean more on the left side to make cleaner contact.
Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

What are the Main Problems Seniors Have with Chipping?

The areas that senior golfers seem to struggle the most include lack of distance control and feel, proper club selection, and poor fundamentals. If you aren’t sure which clubs to use and how to use them, then it’s time to get your chipping skills down.

You likely see shots like:

  • A low skull shot hit across the green.
  • A flubbed shot that doesn’t make it to the hole.
  • Inconsistency between rounds with no real explanation for the differences.
  • Trouble with spin and ball control.

9 Simple Chipping Tips & Techniques for Older Golfers

These tips deal with chipping, a lower lofted shot that lands on the green and then runs towards the hole. Pitch shots are different in that they hit the green and then stay very close to the landing position.

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1. Learn to Use Other Golf Clubs

Learn how to chip with everything from your 7 iron down to your lob wedge. Yes, take all of these clubs to the chipping green with you and start practicing and learning how each one responds on a chip shot.

As the loft gets lower, you’ll need a shorter backswing and more room for the ball to roll.

I would only use a 7 iron for more of a bump-and-run type chip shot where you have plenty of green to work with, and the ball can roll all the way to the back of the hole.

As you get closer to the ball with less green to work with, go to the higher lofts.

The key is to dial in your distances and practice them so you are prepared for all shots on the course.

2. Consider Getting Graphite Shafts

Graphite shafts may give you a slightly better feel around the greens. You’ll also notice that you can get a bit more speed and maybe some extra spin because of it.

Many senior golfers change their irons to graphite but forget about the wedges, which should also be changed.

Not only can this help with your approach shots and pitch shots, but it will give you a better feel around the greens with your chips.

senior golfer on the golf course

3. Ease Up On the Grip Pressure

When you grip the club too tightly it leads to tension in your arms and shoulders. This tension makes you utilize the incorrect muscles in the chip shots (hands) and creates a more inconsistent golf shot.

If you want to develop better chip shots, you need a softer grip. The soft grip promotes a smoother swing, a better tempo, and more consistency. You’ll also be less likely to completely lock your lower body in.

You’ll have to experiment a bit with the amount of grip pressure. If you currently struggle with chipping, you may be a 10 on a scale of one to 10; start by getting that down to a 7. From there, move closer to 5 if possible.

4. Larger Grips Can Help

A larger grip on your irons and wedge can help provide some stability through impact. When chipping, even just the slightest turn or twist of the clubhead can lead to decreased accuracy and poor results.

Instead, choose a golf club with a slightly larger grip, which allows for reduced tension in the hands and wrists, comfort, and improved accuracy through the golf ball.

If you currently have a standard-size grip, start by going to midsize.

5. No Tension Through Impact

In a chipping shot, the impact position is not the end of the shot. Instead, it’s the middle. You still need to finish the shot, and the club should move through the impact position.

Many senior golfers develop tension and almost try to add a “hit” into their shot at impact.

This hit actually causes a deceleration and inconsistency. Instead, think of the ball as the center point, and you are going to swing back and through to complete your motion.

Try focusing on clipping a bit of the grass in addition to the ball, reducing tension in your upper body through impact and letting the club naturally swing through the ball.

6. Keep the Lead Wrist Flexed at Impact

At HackMotion, it’s been interesting to see how much impact the wrists have in the short game.

Most importantly, there is a significant difference between what the wrist does with a chip shot and what it does with a pitch shot.

For a chip shot you’ll want to make sure your lead wrist is in more of a flexed position at impact.

This position allows for a clean strike and a slightly lower ball flight. Many amateurs are guilty of flipping their wrists at impact, causing a topped or skulled shot.

Use the HackMotion to stay flexed in your chipping stroke and see more consistent shots roll toward the pin.

7. Forward Shaft Lean – But Not Too Much

Having a little forward shaft lean in your chip shots is smart. However, if you exaggerate this a bit too much, you may deloft the club more than it should. Although the chip shot is lower, and we expect it to roll to its target, it does eventually need to stop near the pin.

We don’t want a harsh landing on the green.

Instead, make sure you have your hands in line with the ball. They don’t have to be further up than this, so use that as your point of reference during your setup. If you have exaggerated this too much, it could be the cause of your inconsistency.

8. Lean On the Lead Foot

The lead foot is where your weight should be when setting up. We want to make sure you swing down and through and strike this ball cleanly so leaning on the lead foot at setup will help.

There can be a little turn and weight transfer depending on the length of the chip. However, you’ll never transfer all of your weight off of the lead foot.

9. Narrow Stance

Finally, make sure you have a narrow stance and stand a little closer to the ball.

When you only have a few yards to the pin, consider taking an 8-iron and putting it in your hand. Standing closer to the ball and narrowing your feet will help you control the distance.

When you set up as you normally would to hit a longer full-swing shot, you leave too much room for error. Standing close like this really highlights what you should be working on.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Drills to Work on Chipping

If you want some more ways to practice your chipping, here are a few of our favorite drills.

Keep the Butt End of the Club and the Clubhead Moving Together

This simple drill helps you determine exactly how the club should be moving back in your swing.

It’s not necessary for the butt end of the club to move towards the target like many golfers think. Let it move back like the clubhead does and make clean contact with your chips.

Match the Alignment Stick

This drill from Peter Finch will help you ensure the club is moving back as it should with the proper shoulder turn and rotation.

Simply match the position of the alignment stick throughout the swing, and chipping will be much easier.

Bread Board Chipping Drill

To learn the importance of crisp contact with your golf ball when chipping, try using a simple bread board or a golf lie board.

You’ll want to focus on hitting the ball first then the board and see how that improves your contact with the ball.

Final Thoughts

At this point, you should be itching to get to the chipping practice green to work on your short game.

These tips can be implemented immediately to help you become a better chipper and take your game to the next level.

Chipping is such a great scoring opportunity for seniors. Learn to get your chip shots closer, and you’ll shoot lower scores.

Incorporate the HackMotion into your short game practice so you can measure your progress. There are likely mistakes you are making with your wrists that you are unaware of.

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Brittany Olizarowicz
written by Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz is a golf professional who has played the game for more than 30 years. In addition to loving the game of golf, Britt has a degree in math education and loves analyzing data and using it to improve her game and the games of those around her. If you want actionable tips on how to improve your golf swing and become a better player, read her guides.