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.

Free Drills to Transform Your Short Game
Free Short Game Drills
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How to Hit Short Chip Shots (10 Tips You Can’t Miss)

The worst part about missing a short chip shot is that you are already so close to the hole.

Being just a few yards off the green and leaving yourself in a situation where you need to chip again or you three putt is incredibly frustrating.

The good news is that you don’t have to overcomplicate the chip shot. These short chips should be simple, and if you follow these steps, your chip shots should get a lot better.

Perfecting Your Short Chip Shots (Key Takeaways)

If you don’t have time to go through all ten of these quick tips on how to hit short chip shots, here are the key points you can take with you.

  • Keep the backswing short and controlled when hitting short chip shots; you’ll reduce the chance of error.
  • Hands should stay ahead of the ball at setup and at impact.
  • Check your lead wrist position and make sure it is flexed as opposed to extended; too much extension in the lead wrist could cause you to hit the chip shots thin or inconsistent.
  • Always accelerate through the golf ball, even when it’s close to the hole!
  • Your shoulders should turn; don’t let the arms and wrists move without the shoulders going too.
Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

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

10 Essential Tips to Master Short Chip Shots

1. Hand Stay Ahead of The Clubhead

To hit a great short chip shot, you have to keep your hands ahead of the clubhead. Give the shot a slight forward press, and make sure you maintain that throughout the swing.

If you want a great drill for this, put a tee in the velcro part of your golf glove. If you try to flip your wrist and lose that position of your hands, staying ahead of the golf ball, you’ll feel the tee hit the upper part of your hand as a reminder.

Pro Tip: Don’t exaggerate this concept; it delofts the club and can give you almost no control.

2. Try a Few Different Clubs

Do you find yourself using the same club for chipping?

Stop doing this and change things up. For short chips you can use anything from a 60 degree wedge to a 9 iron. I wouldn’t recommend going with the 8 or 7 iron for these shorter chip shots because they won’t be as easy to control the distance.

Head to the practice green and pick a target for a short chip shot.

Hit five shots with your 9 iron, pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and 60-degree wedge to see which ones are best at getting you close to the hole.

3. Smaller Stance for Smaller Distances

If you want the chip shot to fly a shorter distance, adjust your stance so that it will.

Don’t take your typical iron stance with a short shot. Your feet can be almost completely together, which helps you get some control over your distance.

4. Control the Backswing

The further you take the club back, the more room there is for error. If you want to hit the short shots consistently, control the length of the backswing.

You can take the same length backswing and change out the club or even your swing speed if you need a little extra distance. However, most golfers struggle not with needing more distance on these short chip shots but instead on getting too much distance.

A great drill is to take the club back only far enough that your lead arm passes your sternum. See how far a chip shot like this gets you, and then play around with speed and club selection to get different results.

5. Flexion in Lead Wrist

A flex lead wrist in a chip shot leads to more consistent ball first contact. If your wrist is not flexed you may be flipping your wrist to get the ball in the air.

The HackMotion can be worn during your chipping practice to help you determine where your mistakes are with the lead wrist.

Try flexing the wrist just a little more and see how that improves the contact you make with the ball.

6. Always Accelerate

Accelerating through the golf ball is a must. It helps prevent chunking and hitting behind the ball.

For shorter shots you can take a shorter backswing and even slow down the pace and tempo of your swing, but you still have to be accelerating as you swing through the ball.

7. Don’t Hinge On the Short Ones

With this being a shorter chip shot and your location being so close to the green, it’s not necessary to take a swing that causes you to hinge the club. When you hinge, it brings in some room for error.

In addition, if you don’t hinge correctly, you could also be adding too much extension to the lead wrist, which could cause it to lose its crispness at impact.

Keep your wrist action to a minimum and watch that hinging motion.

8. Engage the Shoulders

On the short shots when the pressure is on, don’t forget to engage the shoulders.

The shoulders are a little more reliable than the hands and wrists. Even for these short shots you want to use the more reliable larger muscles that you have.

Shoulders don’t make a big turn, but they are engaged. Take a look at this video to get it down.

9. Evaluate Your Lie Carefully

A golf ball sitting down in the rough will have a really hard time stopping on the golf green. If you have a clean lie, you will get more spin. It’s that simple.

Therefore when the ball is a little more buried add extra loft to your club selection. This may be the time to use the 56 or 60 degree wedge instead of the pitching wedge or 9 iron.

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

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

10. Stable Grip Pressure and Position

Here’s a common mistake that many amateur players fall into, and that is changing the grip pressure when they have shorter chip shots.

Maybe you are nervous the hole is so close, or you just are scared to mess this one up, but you will want to take the same grip you always do around the greens.

Use HackMotion to help you analyze your grip position and then keep the pressure constant.

You don’t want to choke the club, but at the same time, a loose grip is likely not going to give you enough control.

It’s ok to grip with enough pressure to have control of the club. For short shots, experiment with softer hands where the club is still secure.

Final Thoughts

To get good at short chip shots around the green, you need to be very confident in your technique. It’s hard to make such a small movement and feel confident when you have a golf hole just a few feet in front of you.

Practice from a variety of lies, use technology like HackMotion as you practice, and ensure that you are actually making progress. One last tip – experiment with different golf balls so you are sure to have something with enough spin.

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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.