Fundaments of the Chip & Run Shot

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

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The Chip & Run shot should be your go to shot. Improve this shot and lower your score. Here are some fundamentals to improve your Chip & Run Shot.

Grip:  Choke down on the club for better feel, and accuracy. Maintain a medium firm grip pressure that will help you swing the club back and forward with the shoulders and arms, not the hands and wrists. Apply more pressure in the left hand for right handed golfer. This will help you to not break the wrists.

Stance:  Open your stance; your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. Open your stance by moving your left foot back off the target line. Your weight should be at least 80% on the front foot. It is very important to maintain this weight distribution during the swing. Do not shift your weight back and forth like the full golf swing.

Ball Position:  Ball position will vary depending on the height and amount of roll that is desired from the shot. For more roll, place the ball back more in your stance. For a higher, softer shot, with less roll, position the ball more forward in your stance. In most of your chipping shots the ball will be played back in your stance, behind the center, closer to the rear foot. This will assist you in maximizing the amount of roll and minimize the time the ball is in the air.

Club Selection:  Before selecting the club to be used, you must determine how much “air time” and “ground time” is required for the shot. Air time relates to the amount of time or distance the ball will travel in the air. Ground time relates to the distance or roll the ball will make once it is on the ground. Keep the air time to the minimum amount of distance required to land the ball on a flat closely mown grass surface. For more air time use the more lofted clubs such as Lob, Sand or Pitching Wedge, for more ground time shots use the less lofted clubs from 9 iron to utility or fairway wood. Less loft equals more roll.

Stroke:  Use the pendulum stroke. Commonly taught as the putting stroke, this stroke is made with the arms and shoulders moving the club back and forward in one piece. The hands remain firm; keep the wrists from breaking while making this stroke. The length of the backswing will determine how far the ball will fly in the air; the amount of loft on the club will determine how far the ball rolls once it is on the ground. Look at the finish of your swing, you should find your hands pushed out at the target and the front wrist firm with no wrist break or cupping.

Practice Drill:  Take an old iron and put a shaft or alignment stick in the end cap of the grip, the stick should extend at least 24 inches from the end of the grip. Grip the club so that the stick is underneath your front arm. Take practice swings and do not break your wrist. If you break your wrist on the follow through the stick will come back and hit your side. Now use this club to hit chip shots. Do not break your wrist or allow the stick in the end of the grip to come back towards your body. Keep your hands ahead of the clubface and push your hands and this stick away from your body towards the target.

For more help with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at