8 chipping and pitching tips that will turn your short game into a strength

One of the most common chipping tips that I hear on GolfPass isn’t really a chipping tip. ‘Putt whenever you can’ is a tip that Jack Nicklaus says Arnold Palmer told him early in his career. If the Texas wedge works for the greatest champion of all time, you should use it, too. But you can’t always use it, so chipping and pitching are both very important skills. A great short game can turn poor ball-striking rounds into decent scores and helps keep those great rounds going. Here I have compiled my 4 favorite chipping tips and 4 favorite pitching tips to hopefully help turn your short game into a strength.

Perfect Chipping ContactSimple, quick drills are the best. This one from Devan Bonebrake explains a swing thought perfect for the low trajectory, bump-and-run type chip shot that everyone needs to have in their arsenal.

Pick A Spot or Not?Do you visualize chips like Tiger Woods or Tom Watson? This is a fun one that will help you understand your game better. I think about chipping like Tiger does (no big deal), but sometimes I would try to force myself into Watson’s process because I thought that was what you’re supposed to do. I don’t do it anymore and it’s helped me a bunch with chipping distance control.

Also, Martin gives his ‘Golden Rule’ regarding the short game at the end. His ‘minimum air time, maximum ground time’ philosophy is another piece of advice that will help save shots around the green.

Chipping – Overly WristyAndrew Rice breaks down a technical error that I see all the time in this tip from Breaking Bad Habits: Short Game. If you are too wristy (or don’t know if you are or not) this tip could help you avoid the disastrous skulled chips and chili dips that can happen from an overly wristy motion.

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Chipping vs. PitchingAs a bridge between chipping and pitching, this Clay Ballard tip talks about the differences between the two and explains how to execute both shot types. GolfPass member Stan H. commented on this tip saying ‘This episode was so helpful for the differences in stance and club position for chipping and pitching. Had a career round today including a 40-yard pitch for an eagle. These tips were invaluable.’ Watch it like Stan did and maybe you will shoot a career low round next time!

Pitch with Soft ArmsI appreciate a good follow-through focus because it can free up the mind from always thinking about contact (which can lead to jittery shots around the green). This brief tip from Chris Como wants you to just think about the position you finish the pitching motion in. Give it a try!

Tom Watson – Pitching Trajectory ControlThis tip from Tom Watson is one of my favorites because it makes you want to try what he’s demonstrating right away. He talks a little about weight transfer and how different grips can control trajectory on pitch shots. The lower body movement may not be for everyone (Watson did have thousands of hours to perfect it), but it is worth trying.

‘Pitch-Perfect’ DrillNathalie Filler Sheehan explains pitching technique perfectly in this tip. Think of it as a quick ‘pitching 101’ if you need to go back to the basics. The drill will help you dial in your form, so that you can consistently hit pitches solid.

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Phil Mickelson – Short Game SecretsWe’d be remised not to mention Phil Mickelson in a short-game tips list. While his flop shot is somewhat of a specialty pitch shot, it’s one that everyone likes to attempt to pull off. In this tip from our Top 100 Tips list, Phil goes a million miles per hour in his description of all types of chip and pitch shots with Martin Hall. It’s all very interesting. As a bonus at the end ,he explains the ‘Phil flop’ in detail.

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