How to Chip using the Ratio Method

In most cases, you want to land the ball safely on the green with a shot that has less air and more roll if you have a middle, or back pin that provides for plenty of run out room for the shot.

Grace Kelbel Ratio Chipping Setup how to chip in golf womens golf
Grace Kelbel demonstrating correct setup

Correct Chipping Set-up

The ball position should be slightly behind the middle of your feet with your weight favoring your front foot as if your rear foot was sore.

Your feet should be fairly close together, and the front foot slightly open. Your hands are also forward of the ball with the grip pointing slightly in front of your belt buckle. The shoulders square up to the high ground side where you want your ball to land. Set the clubface toward the high ground landing area.

The swing is a pendulum where the club head stays quite low from 7:00 to 5:00 on the clock. I pretend the ball is a dandelion and that I need to clip the stem toward my high ground landing area. Minimal or no wrist action is required with this Letter Y shot.

How to Chip Using the Ratio Method

Each club has a different ratio of air and roll when played this way. I like to use my pitching wedge to land the ball just over one-third of the way as it will roll close to two-thirds after landing. Of course, I would land the ball farther than one-third on an uphill chip and less than one third on a downhill chip.

It is easy to use other clubs if you can land at 5 percent adjustments. For example, land the nine iron about 30 percent and let it roll 70 percent. Land the eight iron 25 percent and let it roll 80 percent.

How to Chip in Golf - Ratio Method - Grace Kelbel - Womens Golf
Grace lands the golf ball just over the 1/3 line before it rolls 65%

Anytime you are landing a shot less than half way, you are being a smart golfer and increasing your chances of getting up and down. Far too many amateurs use a sand wedge where they hit the ball most of the way to the hole in the air with less roll, and that is much harder to do successfully.

If you were throwing golf balls into buckets at different distances, wouldn’t you make more in the buckets that were located less than half way? Gary Player says air for show and roll for dough!


In this video notice how little movement the shot has as I land the ball just over a line of golf balls located one-third of the way to the hole. I call this the 35 air and 65 roll ratio.


pete kelbel womens golfIn addition to being the head professional and an extremely busy instructor at the Walloon Lake Country Club for the past 29 years, Pete Kelbel also coaches the boys and girl’s (winners of the 2017 State Championship) golf teams at Harbor Springs High School.

Awarded the State Coach of the Year D-4 in 2016 and 2017, Pete Kelbel has taught club champions and students who have gone on to the college level, including two young women at the D-1 level. By stressing fundamentals in his instruction and continually learning from other great teachers Pete plans to continue to help other women golfers of all ages achieve success at the amateur level and beyond.

Pete Kelbel (@Pete_Kelbel)
Head Golf Professional Walloon Lake C.C.
Head Golf Coach Harbor Springs Boys and Girls.
Cell:  231-881-4562



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