Balance Out the Length of Your Swing for Better Chipping

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

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Two keys we are talking about today:
1) Balance your backswing length and downswing length, and 2) Control your tempo. These two tips will help you control the length of you chip shots and lower your scores.

Balance your backswing length and downswing length:
I see too many golfers taking way too big of a backswing on these short chip shots. Now this golfer must decelerate into the shot, something you do not want to do. You must accelerate into every golf shot.

In the chip shot your backswing should be shortened to shorten the distance of the shot. For a long shot take a full swing, for a shorter shot, shorten the amount of backswing. Accelerate into the ball, with this shorter backswing you will now be allowed to accelerate and hit the ball much cleaner. How many times have you found yourself hitting this shot fat? Or, maybe you hit it right over the green. Both of these miss shots can easily come from taking the club too far back on the backswing.

Your swing should be balanced. Picture the clock, if you take the club back to 9:00 follow through to 3:00. You might be a little past 3:00 with the proper acceleration, but not too far. This swing should not look like 12:00 on the backswing and 3:00 on the finish, nor should it look like 9:00 on the backswing and 12:00 on the finish. Work on balancing the swing back and forward for better distance control and much cleaner hit chips.

Control your tempo:
Another very important component in making good consistent chips is the tempo in which you swing the club. This tempo on the shorter shot should be consistent with the tempo of your full swing. The backswing tempo should be slower than the downswing, remember earlier I mentioned to accelerate into the ball. There should be a smooth acceleration from the start of the downswing through impact.

Work on these two keys and you will improve your short game and maybe even improve your full swing, as well.

For more instruction tips, contact Mark Oswald at or