If you’re No. 1 in greens in regulation on the LPGA Tour like Jin Young Ko was in 2018, you might not need to spend a lot of time chipping. Unfortunately, most amateurs hit fewer than six greens in regulation each round, so having better short-game skills should be a focal point of practice, says Ko, the LPGA Rookie of the Year. “Amateurs I’ve played with don’t think about whether the shot should run or if it should land soft,” she says. “They just try to get it on the green any way they can.” That’s no way to approach these situations, says Jorge Parada, one of Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers and director of instruction at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. With the help of Ko demonstrating, Parada will teach you two basic chips that will cover the majority of lies you face around the greens. The best part? The adjustments to hit both are fairly simple. Read on to expand your greenside options.
THE LOW-RUNNING CHIP
Set Up In Front Of The Ball
“When trying to bump the ball onto the green and get it running, a big fault is tilting the shoulders back,” Parada says. “The left shoulder gets high and the chest leans back. This negates moving the ball back in your stance to hit it lower. It causes chunks.” Instead, Parada says to feel like the sternum and chin are ahead of the golf ball and the left shoulder is level to the right shoulder at address (above). Just like Ko is demonstrating here (below), keep your upper body from drifting away from the green as you swing.
THE HIGH-AND-SOFT CHIP
Keep The Shaft Vertical
“A mistake when hitting a chip high and soft is setting up with the hands too far forward. That causes the ball to come off lower and hotter,” Parada says. Instead, play the ball off your front foot, set the shaft so it’s pointing near your belly button (below), and don’t lean the shaft toward the green when you swing. “The chest rotates, the hips are passive, and the clubhead passes the hands through impact,” Parada says. “Jin Young might not hit a lot of chips during a round, but she knows what she’s doing here.”