How to Chip - Club Selection

You've undoubtedly heard the great chipping debate: "Chip with your favorite club every time" vs. "Use different clubs depending on the situation." So, which is right? The video explains the winner and helps you understand how to get the most out of that strategy.

  • When chipping you want to get the ball onto the green as quickly as possible and let it roll out to the hole
  • Set up a 6' chipping ring on a flat spot near the edge of the green, and a smaller one farther in for your target
  • Use an 8 iron, then a pitching wedge, then a sand wedge as you move farther and farther back
  • Each time, work on getting the ball to hit the landing area and roll out to the target

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Dave
Is there any reason why Chuck uses the 8-iron and skips to the PW? Why not use the 9-iron?
June 23, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. You can use a 9 Iron. Probably just more due to time constraints.
June 23, 2021
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Tom
Sorry if this has already been discussed. Was looking for hip rotation in these videos. Even though the connection between arms and chest is discussed and obvioulsy - there is hip rotation -- I don't see where it was discussed -- nor the "pull effect". Did I miss a video on chipping that discusses these points? Thank you in advance.
February 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. Take a look at Master the Golf Chipping Stroke Video.
February 5, 2020
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Tom
Got it. Perfect. Thank you.
February 6, 2020
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Erik
Apologies if this has been answered already. I'm finding that my chip shots as discussed in this video have a tendency to be pushed or land right of my target (I'm a righty). I have the ball way up in my stance as suggested. I wondering if my takeaway could be giving me issues. Or could it be grip?
May 22, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Erik. More than likely it's not the grip. However, you could be throwing the club inside on the way back and then pushing it out to the right coming down. Take a look at Master the Golf Chipping Stroke to get a little more flow and rotation of the club. This should help square the face for you and even out the plane.
May 22, 2019
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Joe
I often find myself facing a really short shot....just a few feet away from the green and only another 5 - 10 feet to the cup.. How can I manage this shot with this chipping technique? Maybe use a 60 degree with a vertical shaft? Or possibly a negative shaft lean? Thanks.
May 16, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joe. I wouldn't go as far as negative shaft lean. But, using a much smaller (almost feeling like putting stroke) with a 60 or 56 sounds like a plan. Slight lean (not excessive).
May 16, 2018
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Martyn
Hi. All your chipping videos are on flat, level greens. My course in Sydney Australia has mostly raised greens. How do I chip when the ball has to get loft to land on the green? And I suppose this is part of the same question, when you're hitting, say, 20 or 30 yards to a raised green are you hitting a big chip or a small pitch, and how do you adjust accordingly? Thanks.
January 22, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Martyn, This is something that you are going to need to play around with. You can make adjustments to holding the club face a bit more open at address, along with moving the ball position a bit more forward. If you need to hit it a bit higher after making those adjustments, then you can also try making sure you do not have a lot of forward shaft lean at impact and you are working to get the shaft more vertical at contact. Try that out and let me know if it helps.
January 24, 2017
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JONATHAN
I wasnt sure where to ask this question...When using a 56/60 deg and needing to carry 20 or 30 yards would you use more of a long chip swing/setup or more like a pitch? Also, from all the drills ive done on the full swing ive notice that i have a pretty full release on these shots. the club face is pointing to the sky, but some of the videos talk about quieting down the rotation on the short game.
August 4, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jonathan. For 20 or 30 yards I would use the "Perfect Pitch Shot Technique" Video. The club face is pointing to the sky? That sounds like a lack of release. If you are meaning toe up. All is fine with your normal release. Yes, with pitching (unless hitting a super spinner) you will have a little quieter face rotation through the shot.
August 4, 2016
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eric
Hi Clay, using the chipping technique you teach has helped me a lot; though I still have problems with chipping from an uphill slope; what should I change, if any, in my setup taking into account that my left foot is now higher than the right one?
April 23, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. Same technique, but make a few adjustments. Keep axis tilt just inside the lead knee. Make sure you keep that weight forward. Don't fall back on the slope. You might feel like you have to work hard to keep the weight staying forward through the shot.
April 23, 2016
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Brandon
I've heard different methodologies on chipping - do you recommend spot chipping or pacing off the distance and using the 'clock method' (i.e: PW from 7 o'clock to 5 o'clock travels eight paces)?
January 17, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brandon. I typically go with the spot chipping. However, either way won't hurt you.
January 18, 2016
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Mark
In order to chip most consistently using the bump and run technique is there an optimum place to strike the ball? If so, is this point at the back of the ball (with respect to the target line) in a slightly descending blow above the ball center line? Does the optimum bump and run shot ever involve striking the grass under the ball with the bounce of the club?
April 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Mark. My apologies. Somehow this question fell through the cracks. To my knowledge, just the back of the ball. You don't want to be hitting the ball underneath for scoop reasons and spin. I do not recall a bump and run technique that would require striking the bounce of the club into the grass before the ball.
April 21, 2015
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Pat
Your web site link to buy a rotary connect device does not take me to a cart page where I can but one. Does it work on a full swing as well as a chipping aid? Is it still available? If so, how much is it?
May 30, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The rotary connect is still unavailable at the moment. We are working to find a solution to this matter and will let you know via email blast when they become available.
May 30, 2014
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Hello, I was wondering if you guys could answer one of my questions. I am still having a hard time understanding when to use a regular chip shot or when to use a chip-run shot. I have heard so many things from different sources that i am not sure which is correct anymore.
April 21, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Each shot on the golf course can have a different set of requirements. You as the player, need to develop a feel for short game shots and react to the situation that you are faced with. The best thing to do is take 3 balls around a chipping green, and work around the green with a club chipping at different holes with different lies, then change clubs and the style of shot and see what works best for each scenario. Don't just stay in one place and hit 50 balls. Move around and learn what you can and cant do with certain clubs to that you are always prepared on the course to answer your question above. Hope that helps.
April 21, 2014

  Proper club selection on a chip shot shouldn't be that complicated, but for a lot of golfers, they lose a lot of really easy strokes around the green because they don't pick the right club. They're really not sure what they should use and how come they should use that club over another. Let me make it really simple today so you never have to struggle with this again. I have three clubs with me. I have an eight-iron, a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, a 56-degree wedge here. Around the green here, now you can use seven-irons and so on and so forth, but these days, the irons are so jacked up on their loss that a five-iron's like a two-iron I used to play with back in high-school, so eight-iron, pitching wedge and some sort of wedge, like a 56 or a 60 is really good for most of these shots around the green. But what I want you to think about when you're choosing between one of these three or maybe four clubs that you're gonna chip with most often is developing a routine to figure out carry versus roll, because that's really all it is.

  It comes down to one simple thing, how far do you want the ball to carry, and how far do you want it to roll once it lands on the green. Now the only way that you're gonna figure this out is through some really simple practice, and the way that I want you to do this is to pick a club, let's say we're gonna start with the lowest-lofted one here, in this case, the eight-iron. And what I'm gonna do is make what I would consider a standard chipping stroke. Now standards, no such thing as a standard shot around the green, right, but what I want you to do is develop one so that you have a reference for how hard you hit a normal shot. So for instance, for me, the shot that's really comfortable, 'bout like that. So I took the club about parallel to the ground, give or take, and then I came through on the other side.

  Now for that basic pitch shot, if I do that, that ball is gonna carry about 15 yards and then roll the rest of the way, about equal distance depending on how fast the green is, of course. Now when I take my pitching wedge, in this case, and I make my same standard chipping stroke, back and through, now that one carried about three yards shorter than the one before and now when I go to the 56, I'm gonna make my, again, my standard chipping shot. And that one carried about three yards shorter than that. So I know that on my standard shot, each shot's gonna carry about three yards less with these clubs. That gives me a great reference point, so now all I gotta do is walk it off and see how far my eight-iron carried, and I eyeballed it there, it's about three yards shorter in each one.

  And now I have a baseline, and that's really what you're looking for around the green so that when you approach a shot and you've got to carry it ten yards, but you need it to roll 20, obviously the sand wedge is not really gonna be the ideal shot there. So I know with the eight-iron, if I hit it and it's gonna carry 15 yards, or ten, 12 yards, whatever it may have been, and then I know it's gonna roll about the same distance on the other side, I know I've got 30 yards of turf that I can cover with that club.

  Now with the pitching wedge, it's gonna carry, let's say, 20 percent less, let's say it carried ten yards, and it's only gonna roll about eight, so I know that's gonna be eighteen, and the same thing with this, this is only gonna carry about seven, eight yards, and then it's only gonna roll a few yards, what you want do is spend enough time around the green so that when you're practicing on your standard chip shot, that you know that you can make a little adjustment and maybe take a little bit off, so that's my stand one. Now I'm gonna take a little bit off of it. And I took about a yard and a half, two yards a carry out. So now from my standard baseline shot, I can make adjustments for the typical shots that I'm gonna hit because every shot around the green is always gonna be different, but once I've developed, through practice, a simple baseline, club selection will be a piece of cake.

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