How to Chip in Golf for Spin
Every golfer wants to learn how to put more spin on their pitch shots, but unfortunately, they set themselves up for failure right from the start because they learned the “old school” way to setup to a chip shot.
That’s right, if you aren’t setup to the ball correctly on your chip shots, you’ve got no chance at consistently putting a lot of spin on the ball.
Learning how to chip to spin the ball on the greens and make it dance is all about understanding the science of what makes the golf ball spin. And at RotarySwing Golf, we’re all about the science.
Science of Spin On Pitch Shots
Spinning the ball around the green is made possible by three factors:
3. Quality of Contact
There are a few other factors, but those are the most important by far. So, let’s look at each one in order. First, the loft of the club.
LOFT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN SPIN!
Many golfers think that how fast you swing the golf club in a chip shot is the most important factor in how much you will spin the ball, but that’s simply not the case because you’re not swinging the club fast enough to make a significant impact.
Many golfers try to hit flop shots because they believe this to be true in an effort to spin the ball more, but the fact of the matter is, you can actually hit a flop shot that comes out with very little spin because you’re able to alter your angle of attack out of the rough and the vertical gear effect comes into play.
Here’s a little bonus “pro secret” for you on your flop shots. When I was playing full time professionally, my flop shots were a strong suit. My playing competitors used to say “your flop shots land like bean bags”!
That was always my goal with a flop shot. I knew I wouldn’t be able to put much spin on the ball coming out of the rough, so how was I to get the ball stop so quickly?
Hit your flop shots off the toe of your wedge.
Hitting the ball way out off the toe not only dramatically deadens the blow (think how crappy a full iron shot off the toe feels!), but this, in turn, allows you to swing through the rough more aggressively because you know the ball isn’t going to run when it lands! It’s a cool shot, so go practice it!
But on our chip shots in golf, we need to focus on creating and maintaining loft if we want more spin, and that starts with the setup. In the image below, you can see how I have setup in the RotarySwing Tour chipping setup and you can see how most golfers are taught the “conventional” setup on the right.
Out of these two setups, it’s not hard to see which setup gives more loft at address.
Once you are setup correctly, you are able to make a swing that gives you a shallow angle of attack which helps preserve the loft on the club through impact, but also exposes more of the bounce to ward off those fat chip shots. Preserving loft is crucial for being able to apply more speed, which we’ll discuss next.
HOW SPEED EFFECTS YOUR CHIP SHOTS
The more speed you can apply to a chip shot, the more you can compress the golf ball against the face, which increases the surface area of the ball contacting the club face. This, in turn, increases friction which allows the clubface to “bite” on the ball and impart more back spin.
When you have very little loft on the club and you add speed, the ball simply goes too far! But, by having more loft at address, you can apply more speed and take advantage of the speed and loft synergistically.
Having more loft at setup like the pros do is what allows you to be aggressive with your chip and pitch shots.
You don’t have to make a tentative chipping stroke when you’re close to the hole, you can be aggressive and this will give you more confidence around the greens as the faster you swing with more loft, the more spin you’ll put on the ball.
To me, the best feeling in golf is to be able to swing as hard as I want I know the ball is only going to go straighter the harder I swing!
In chipping and pitching, of course, you can’t be that aggressive!
But, you can set yourself up to make a more assertive stroke by simply changing your setup to add more loft. In the example pic above, I’ve got 11 degrees more loft than the conventional “Dave Pelz” style chipping stroke setup.
Think about that, that’s 3-4 clubs more loft! That’s like chipping with a pitching wedge vs chipping with a 6 iron!
Your wedge has loft on it for a reason – use it!
QUALITY OF CONTACT ON PITCH SHOTS
This is where the RotarySwing chipping and pitching stroke really shines. Because it sets you up for a very shallow angle of attack, it builds in a “margin of error” that is greater than the conventional setup for avoiding getting grass between the clubface and ball.
When you come steep on a chip shot, it is very typical for you to catch the ball a little fat and get dirt and grass between the clubface and ball, which reduces friction that I talked about earlier. This is no bueno.
By coming into the ball very shallow, you minimize the likelihood of this happening. These three things together give you recipe for PGA Tour quality pitch shots.
Now, let’s learn about the stroke itself and how to do it – click here.
This next part is critical because it’s going to both show you how to release the club to get the proper loft and bounce angle at impact.
I’m also going to show you how to make a tour pro quality chipping stroke that will guarantee you never hit a fat chip or pitch shot again!
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