How to Chip - Spinning Chip Shots

Over the years, I've had countless people ask me how I put as much spin as I do on such short chip shots. Well, for the first time, you guys will get a peak at the technique to hit very short shots very softly but with a lot of spin. Most golfers like to come down very steep on the ball which creates a very blunt and sharp blow. The only problem with this is that a lot of speed is required to create spin and on a short shot, you'll simply hit it much too far. But by learning this technique, you'll be able to save par more often around the greens and maybe even amaze your friends in the process!

  • Short, delicate shots require a lot of spin, but can't be hit very hard
  • Rather than hitting down steeply for spin, slip the blade underneath the ball so it rolls up the face
  • Practice getting this feeling by taking some shots with the right hand only
  • It's best to practice this on a tight surface, but it's hard on the green so choose your spot wisely!
  • Allow the right wrist to work flat, adding loft to the club through the shot
  • It's a very short stroke with no speed or compression, but it should generate a lot of spin
  • Practice with both hands on the green, then move over to the fringe - the ball should come out very soft

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Dave
Would this drill also work from a driving range mat before taking it to the practice green?
February 29, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Technically, yes it would. However, the green doesn't have any forgiveness. The mat will tend to make the club bounce up and give you a false sense of proper contact.
March 2, 2020
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Harold
Obviously to execute this shot we have to have a very soft grip keeping the hand and wrist loose correct ?
January 6, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Harold. Yes, you must monitor the tension and stay super free.
January 7, 2020
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Julie
Should you ever open the face of the club for chipping or pitching?
June 20, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Julie. For stock basic chipping and pitching. There really isn't a need for an open face. Only necessary if you require a very high lofted short game shot.
June 20, 2019
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Julie
O.k. Thank you
June 20, 2019
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Marc
Hi Craig, I can’t really see this on the video but I am correct to assume that the grip is neutral. With a weaker grip it would slow down the acceleration of the club that has to slide under the ball, is this correct? Also what should be the rotation of the shoulders in the backswing? I am pretty good with the right hand only where the arm comes back and the shoulder does not move. Things will go wrong sometimes when both hands are on the club and especially if I try to rotate the shoulders. Should both hands go back and the shoulders stay put? Lastly will the knees help the movement in the downswing to shallow the club? Thanks, Marc
September 17, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marc. A slightly weaker grip is fine. Not required, but a lot of players do this. The movement is still started by the shoulders with both hands on the club. Don't think of a big rotation, but sort of a getting going move. Easy shoulder rotation start start getting the arms and hands moving. And, yes the knee will help with the shallowing out.
September 17, 2018
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Justin
How would you hit a shot where you desire the same result from the rough?
August 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Justin. It is tougher to spin the ball out of rough because the grass gets in-between the face and ball much more. In the rough you will tend to have a little more wrist with a slightly steeper angle of attack because you need to get the ball out. The face will be held off a little more so you can keep a decent pace into the strike.
August 7, 2017
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Martyn
Can you help me with my bounce selection on my wedges? My sand wedge 54 degrees has 12 bounce, while my 50 degree gap wedge has 8. I'd prefer to play little chip shots with my sand wedge, but with that much bounce I'm more likely to chunk it or thin it aren't I? What is the optimum loft/bounce combo for a gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge? PS what club is Chuck using in this video?
July 21, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Martyn, this is a completely subjective question and there are a lot of variables that can dictate what sort of loft and bounce YOU should have. The lofts you chose should be based on positioning yardage gaps properly and also should provide you with versatility with shot selection. Without knowing the turf conditions you are used to playing or where you are currently at technique wise, we cannot just spout off a bunch of numbers. We would need to look at your swing in the swing review system in order to better help you. I would also suggest that you see a reputable club fitter in your area to help you with this. As far as Chucks club in this video is concerned, Im not sure exactly of the loft but I can tell you that he uses very little bounce in his wedges, as I have seen them first hand.
July 21, 2017
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Lee
Hi, great video. Curious as to what wedge you used for the chip with 10-20 feet to pin?
May 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lee. 60 Degree Wedge.
May 18, 2017
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stephen
Is Chuck Holding the club open and cutting across the Ball at impact or releasing it though? Looks to me Like he releases it. Why not hold the surface open and cut across the ball to get spin and have the ball check up?
May 13, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. That is one way to do it. But, we are trying to shy away from too much side spin. More allowing it to glide up the face with open release.
May 13, 2017
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Ted
I've tried something new here and am curious if anyone at Rotary has experimented with this. I wondered if Chuck's left hand low explanation for putting might apply to chipping. So I tried it. Shaft still forward. But rock back and through pendulum move. The result was always the same. I tiny little chip shot with spin. Comments?
March 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ted. We used to have a video pertaining to the move. Some players have definitely experimented with it. If you are getting results we don't see too much an issue with it.
March 3, 2017
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T David
Would it be a good idea to practice this technique on the living room carpet?
October 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. You may use the carpet. Chuck sometimes put guys on the cart path .
October 16, 2016
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Mitchell
Do you know what club he's using?
August 5, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mitchell. 60 degree with very little bounce.
August 6, 2016
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Ted
Edit below..."this and the switch towards using right hand...."
June 6, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
See below
June 6, 2016
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Ted
Although I have been working these last three months on all things RST (with some success especially in the area of consistency and considerably less back pain), chipping has still been the part of my game that gives me the night sweats and temps me to become The Frozen Man while over the ball. Chip's videos are helping me a lot and I'm working hard at it. However, those little bitty chips have still been owned by the yips..until I was directed to this video. Rainy day in Charleston. Took the drill to the carpet. Gap wedge very little bounce. Bingo. In 20 minutes I was getting the result I wanted. Here's my question: I'm finding that in order to open the club face to increase "slippage" I'm feeling it to be natural to open my stance a bit so that the lead edge points to target. This is the switch towards using the right hand to provide the "slipping power" is counter to the stock RST chipping technique. Am I OK with this...or what?
June 6, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Ted, the adjustment you are making is perfectly fine. We allow for some minor setup adjustments to help produce the best results. It's hard to take the changes to the course because we are so wired to try and hit the golf ball and that's when things break down. Get your confidence up with as much practice as you can on the body movements and then you will start to get better results on the course asap.
June 6, 2016
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Ted
Will do and thanks. It's no surprise that rehearsing (ad nauseum) they key fundamentals you teach is the only way to own swing changes to point where you can cross that (long) bridge between range and golf course seasoned with a little pressure. As of today I'm honestly and for the first time encouraged about dealing with the short chip. Onward.
June 6, 2016
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michael
What if I practiced on a driving range mat
March 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. You might have too much bounce effect off the mat.
March 8, 2016
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Evan
It looks like the all position is middle or back . Yes?
May 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Evan. Actually, the ball is just up from middle.
May 22, 2015
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Lee
Chuck I practice these shots off of a fairly small piece of carpet. This seems to me that it affords the tight lie, as the carpet I use doesn't have long pile. Just thought I'd mention that so none of our team has a green's keeper chasing them away. Hope you find this useful. Lee
September 30, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Lee. I have definitely had the stare down from a greens keeper in my day.
September 30, 2014
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Dr.
you have no videos of chipping or pitching from rough around greens
July 23, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Larry. The only one I see is the Downhill Pitch From the Rough. That is a good suggestion for video content. Typically for the rough. The wrist set will be quicker off the ball and a little steeper angle of attack.
July 23, 2014
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jeff
Hi, in this video Chuck says that it's more difficult to perform this shot with a wedge with a lot of bounce. What kind of bounce number are we looking for? I have a problem that I want a lot of bounce on my sand wedge, but wouldn't want a lot on a wedge for this shot. I currently have 4 wedges in my bag (PW, 51 gap, 55 and 59. All of them have pretty good bounce on them. Thanks! Jeff
June 23, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jeff. Typically I carry an assortment of wedges with different bounce for this exact purpose. 12 to 8 GW-SW. 4 on lob when needing less bounce.
June 23, 2014
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frank
Hi. I notice when you use both hands, that you your finish position seems to place both hands right on the left side of your waist. I also see the tour players end up like that on "distance control" shots, including out of the bunker. is this something i should strive for with the short wedge play, as opposed to thinking about extending my arms, as in the "wide-narrow-wide drill with the longer clubs?
May 30, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
The wide narrow wide is for power (more a full swing type shot). The spinning chip is more of a feel type swing and strike. The left side of the waist isn't one to work towards, but is a by product of active yet supple wrist to create the spin. Trying to extend the arms too much would hinder the ability to create more spin.
May 31, 2014
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jeff
Hi, is the stance and setup the same as Clay demonstrates in the chipping section? Thanks, Jeff
May 29, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes. Except a little closer to the How to Hit a Flop Video with weight distribution. Not too much stacked on the left, but posted up.
May 31, 2014
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mike
On a typical shot with a flat next to the green, where should the ball position be?
April 20, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Depending on club selection middle to back just a bit.
April 21, 2014
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Michael
You make that look so easy!Still confused on ball position. Looks like on the other video,Chuck says ball position is in the front(proper pitch shot) and when chipping on the hill the position of the ball is back? Any idea. Cause ball is on hill?
April 14, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
This is a different shot than a pitch shot and you can play around with ball position depending on the lie.
April 15, 2014
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Michael
Perfect. Specialty shot. Thanks
April 15, 2014

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