Solving Chipping Problems

At one point or another, we have associated our short game to terms like thin, chunky, bladed, fat, or duff. It certainly takes some time to feel comfortable hitting shots around the green however when it comes to chipping it can be quite simple if we have a clear idea about what we should be doing. From a physical standpoint at Joey D Golf we are always promoting the best movement patterns for golfers to apply to their swing and when it comes to golf instruction just as in physical training, “Less Is More.” Simplifying your strategy when hitting chip shots can be quite rewarding.

Let me explain with the help of my student, Fiene Nagtegaal:

One of the oldest tips regarding chipping has been to bring the ball back in your stance, lean the grip end of the club forward, hinge your wrists going back and you’ll have a pretty decent chance of hitting it close to the hole. There is no arguing that many of the greats in the game have had success doing this but then again, we’re talking about the greats. For a beginner or novice golfer or simply someone who doesn’t get much practice, being great or even decent around the green can be a challenge. I believe that understanding and taking advantage of the equipment that’s out there these days can be of great help.

Very often I get asked what bounce is and how do you use it. Without getting too complicated, the bounce is the angle between the sole of a wedge and its leading edge. Many times I see golfers incorporating the leading edge of the club too much by leaning the shaft towards the target. This reduces our margin for error especially if we are chipping into the grain. If contact isn’t precise we can easily run the chance of digging into the turf too much and seeing our ball go 2 ft in front of us or even blading the ball over the green. However, if we can incorporate its bounce through impact our margin for error increases and we’ll be making it much easier on ourselves to get the ball close to the hole.

Bounce on a club can be our best friend if we know how to use it. No matter what grain we are faced with,the club won’t dig if we just so happen to mishit the shot, instead the club will just bounce off the turf or slide smoothly through impact. So next time you’re out on the practice green. Give this a try!

Let’s see how Fiene sets up….


Set up with a narrow stance, narrower than usual with your weight favoring your lead side. Place the ball in the middle of your stance or just a bit forward. Have the butt end of the grip facing your belt buckle. This sets the shaft up in a vertical angle allowing you to have the bounce part of the club making contact with the ground.


During the take away the hands do little to nothing staying connected to the shoulders and arms with your lower body staying very stable.


At the moment of impact, the hands will look very similar to the way they did at address. Letting the bounce of the club do all the work. The lower body has begun rotating as well through the impact zone.


Through impact, the same connections remain in the shoulders and arms with the hands very quiet swinging through. Lower body should be facing the target at the finish.

Less is usually more, so by simplifying and using the bounce of the club to your favor you’ll find it much easier to chip around the green. Guaranteed!


Marvin SangüesaMarvin Sangüesa is a PGA Professional Golf Coach based at the Joey D Golf Performance Center in Jupiter, Florida.
More information about Marvin Sangüesa is available on his website and on Youtube where he posts regular instructional videos. You can also follow Marvin online on TwitterFacebook & Instagram.


  1. He talks about chipping with the shaft pointed at his belt buckle (no shaft lean) yet at 49 seconds his hands are forward with the shaft even with his left arm before he takes the club back. Kind of kills the lesson.

    • Excellent observation Coach Joe Golf, point to be made here is the dramatic difference of (excessive shaft lean) and (very little to no shaft lean) during set-up. Due to there being some amount of hinge during the takeaway without being robotic the person will in fact lean the shaft forward prior to hitting the ball. For purposes of the article and masses reading mamy of who might be new new the game such detailed explanation was left out.


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