How to Chip: Chipping Distance Control vs. Direction Control

How to Chip – Distance vs. Direction

It’s time to find out if you need to work more on controlling your distance or your direction when chipping.

Is One More Important Than the Other?

One of the easiest ways to drop strokes off your golf game is through improving your chipping. The average 85 shooter is faced with 13 chips, pitches and putts per round.

Once you’ve nailed the chip shot setup and proper chipping stroke, the quickest way to break into the 70s is to improve your chipping distance control and improve your up-and-down percentage.

Distance control is the most important aspect of chipping. Think back to the last time you were faced with a difficult chip and didn’t get the desired result. Maybe you left the ball 15 feet away from the hole.

I would bet that you didn’t miss the chip 15 feet to the right or to the left. Most likely you were short or long of the hole.

That’s why controlling distance is so crucial, where we all have the most room for improvement, and where you can drop strokes the fastest.

Take the Test

  1. Grab 10 golf balls and head to the practice green.
  2. Pick a shot roughly 50 feet from the hole on a fairly level lie.
  3. Hit 10 shots to the hole.
  4. Map out your shots.

You might find them to look something like this:

chipping distance control
Notice how most balls miss short and long, but the direction of the shots is consistent.

You will notice that most of the balls that are farthest from the hole are both short and long. The distance the balls missed from left to right was insignificant.

If the speed were perfect on each shot, most of the remaining putts would be less than 2 feet.

How to Improve Your Chip Shot Distance Control

The key is to constantly observe the distance you hit each shot and adjust. Having a set target for the maximum distance of each shot is important to get the proper feedback as you practice your chipping.

My “Ladder Drill” video will help you do just that.

So, if you found that you need to improve your chip shot distances, sign up for a Premium Membership to access the “Ladder Drill” and home in on your chipping distance control.

Or for tons of free information on how to perfect your golf swing, visit for over 30 free online golf instruction videos.

We look forward to you joining our team.

Chuck Quinton

is the founder of the RotarySwing Tour online golf instruction learning system. He played golf professionally for 8 years and has been teaching golf since 1995 and has worked with more than 100 playing professionals who have played on the PGA, and other major tours around the world.

4 thoughts on “How to Chip: Chipping Distance Control vs. Direction Control

  • November 21, 2012 at 3:48 am

    If you have the yips, no conventional chipping instruction is of any use, because if you have the yips you can’t make consistent contact, and if you can’t make consistent contact, distance control is impossible, and your direction isn’t too great either. I’ve had the chipping yips for nearly 50 years. Believe me, I’ve tried all sorts of cures, from the orthodox to the downright weird, but never experienced more than temporary relief. You can take the yips by surprise, so to speak, but sooner or later — usually sooner — the yips adapt to the cure and overcome it, just as germs become resistant to antibiotics. Does Rotary Swing Golf have any new ideas on this?

    • November 27, 2012 at 4:11 am

      I would love to see your stroke and help you to fix your yips. Almost every time I have seen someone with the yips it is mechanics related. For instance if you have the ball in the back of your stance with the shaft leaned significantly forward you must pull up just before impact (yip) to avoid your clubhead crashing into the ground. As a member you get two free swing reviews. You should submit one and make a note of your problems. We offer a 30 day money back guarantee for any reason at all. All you have to do is call. You should try it out. If not, good luck and I hope you find what you are looking for. I know you are searching for answers to your problems. I hope you find them.

  • November 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    One of the latest articles on putting consistency addressed this. Clay also addressed it in his “Pre Shot Routine” article recently. Chuck said when putting he actually starts taking the putter back before his head stops moving after his last look at the hole. Keeping the motion fluid. Clay goes straight from his last waggle to backswing in his pre shot routine. Leaving no room for tensing up. Try Chuck’s method (or Clay’s) during your chip. I find keeping a VERY light grip on the club increases solid contact and that confidence cures the yips. It doesn’t feel right at first so get it down on the practice green before taking it to the course. Fairways and Greens!!!

    • November 27, 2012 at 4:13 am

      Great recommendation Jerry. This could also be very helpful!

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