Weight Distribution is Vital When Chipping
One key to consistently getting the ball up and down is proper weight distribution. Keep at least 60% of your weight on the front foot at address (left foot for right-handed golfers). Think of hitting slightly down and through the ball. This will encourage a good weight transfer and, in turn, help complete the follow-through. Keep the back of the left wrist facing the target and don’t let it break down. That’s crucial. Otherwise, your shots will break down as well!
Chipping from Bunkers
Many golfers make the sand bunker shot more difficult than it has to be. This is because they were taught that the only way to come out of a trap is with an explosion shot, a rather unnatural stroke for the beginner since the club head has to strike the sand behind the ball and does not strike the ball itself.
There are a number of occasions when the lie of the ball and the lay of the land make playing an explosion shot unnecessary and even unwise. Whenever the bank of the trap is low and there is enough putting surface between the trap and the hole, a golfer would be more sensible to play a variation on a chip shot – with the club head contacting the ball cleanly and lofting it onto the green. Allow for some roll.
A chip from the sand is played the same as a chip from any other lie, with two modifications. First, you grip the club low on the shaft, as far down as the bottom of the leather if this is comfortable. Secondly, glue your eyes on the left half of the ball rather than on the right half as you do on ordinary shots. This enables you to deliver a clean, descending blow, and that is the essence of all chip shots.
Chipping from the Fringe
When you are playing a chip shot from off the fringe of the green, I think it is a sensible practice to visualize this kind of stroke as a close cousin to the putting stroke. In chipping from the apron, just as in putting, the club head should follow a straight line from the top of the backswing through impact with the ball and on top of the follow-through. Imagine that your ball is lying atop a yardstick that is pointing toward the hole. Your club head should stay directly above the yardstick during all phases of the chip shot. Your stance will be open with your left foot at approximately a 45-degree angle to the pin, in order to facilitate the proper movement of the club head. This open stance and the over-the-yard-stick stroke – these are the fundamentals that will make it easy for you to keep your chip right on the line to the pin.
Many golfers make the mistake on their short chips of assuming a square stance, keeping both feet perpendicular to the line to the target. The result is that the club head deviates from the straight line during the swing, and an inaccurate shot is the consequence.