Balance Out the Length of Your Swing for Better Chipping

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

More Information

Two keys to improving your chipping: 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.

1)  Balance your backswing length and downswing length. I see too many golfers taking too big of a backswing on these short chip shots. If you take the club back too far you have to decelerate into the shot, something you want to avoid. You must accelerate into every golf shot from the shortest putt to the longest drive. 

In the chip shot your backswing should reflect the preferred distance of the shot. For a long chip take a longer backswing, for a shorter shot, shorten the amount of backswing. For a more solid and consistent chip shot, accelerate into the ball. The shorter backswing will allow you to accelerate and hit the ball much cleaner. 

Your swing should be balanced. Picture the clock, if you take the club back to 9:00 follow through to 3:00. You might even go a little past 3:00 with the proper acceleration. 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. 

Use this clock illustration to practice your distance control. Practice taking the club back different lengths on the backswing, accelerate into the shot and hold your finish. Is your follow through longer than the backswing? Can you control the length of your backswing, which will help you control the length of the chip.

2)  Control your tempo. Another very important component in making good consistent chip shots 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 lower your score and maybe even improve your full swing, as well.

For more information, contact Mark at