A lot of golfers lack accuracy in all areas of their game for one simple reason. They aim the club in the wrong direction to start with. Aiming the club should be one of the simplest things in golf but very few golfers do this well, and I think it’s because most golfers setup at the final target instead of an intermediate target.
Whether you’re chipping, pitching or hitting a long shot you should always pick out your final target and then imagine a line back from this to your ball, and then pick out a spot about 2-3 feet in front of your ball that you can aim at. Doing this will make it much easier for you to aim your club, instead of trying to aim it at some target which is often yards and yards away.
Accuracy when chipping should be easy, but a lot of golfers find it difficult because they use too many moving parts. Your chipping swing should move pretty much straight back and straight through. It is especially important that the clubface goes directly down the line towards the target, even after you’ve hit the ball.
A good drill to learn how to do this is by placing clubs on the ground pointing directly towards your target and either side of the ball so you have enough room to have the club move backwards and forwards to the target. Just keep chipping balls making sure your club is going more or less straight back and straight through.
Obviously for longer chips and pitches the club should go on a more rounded arc, but for short chips you should play them just like long putts. Actually it can also increase your accuracy if you use your putting grip for chip shots and use the same pendulum action.
Another great drill for improving chipping accuracy is to get a piece of four by two or an umbrella and place it so it’s pointing directly towards your target. Then simply place a ball just on the inside of it so you have enough room to put the clubhead to the ball, then chip along the piece of wood or umbrella. This drill will give you instant feedback as to whether or not you are swinging straight back and straight through.
So here’s a summary of what you should do to improve your accuracy when chipping…
• Pick an intermediate target 2-3 feet in front of your ball on a line directly at your target.
• Place clubs on the ground with enough room so that you can hit balls between them and this will act as a guide for you to swing straight back and straight through.
• Chip along a piece of four by two to once again get the feeling of swinging straight back and straight through.
One final thought. The more you can keep your club moving straight along your target line the more accurate you’ll be. Good luck.