Chipping Drills

Put in the Work: Our 7 Favorite Chipping Drills

Are you looking for the best chipping drills to improve your short game? If so, you’re in the right place. 

No matter how good you get at golf, missing greens is part of the game. In fact, a recent study found that scratch golfers only hit about half (9/18) green in regulation. Which is why it’s so crucial to work on your short game, especially if you’re a mid to high handicapper.

Today, we’ll review the best chipping drills that will lead to more confidence on the golf course. Plus, a few games and gadgets to help you practice at home too. 

Chipping Drills

Is chipping different from pitching? How often should you practice short game? 

These are good questions to ask. Start by learning more about chipping vs. pitching here. In regard to the second question – practice as much as possible

Keep reading to learn what chipping drills will benefit you most at the short game area. 

Key Takeaways 

  • If you want to improve your scoring average, spend a majority of time on your short game. 
  • The more you can master basic skills like chipping, pitching, and bunkers, the more shots you’ll save.
  • Don’t forget, no matter how good you get, missing greens is a part of golf. Using these chipping drills and aids will help you dial in your short game for more effective practice sessions.
Chipping Drills

1. Practice the Hinge and Hold Drill

Form is important with short game and basic chip shots. 

The recommended form for a majority of shots around the green is known as the hinge and hold. Phil Mickelson made this popular in “Secrets of the Short Game” (watch it on YouTube for a masterclass on all things short game). 

This is a simple method that Phil says in the only way to chip. His keys to success are:

  • Narrow stance.
  • Break your wrist immediately going back. 
  • Hold and accelerate going through the golf ball. 
  • Your arm and club should form a straight line at the finish. 

This will keep the arm and club moving together as the leading edge and bounce the same. If you can master this basic chip shot, you’re well on your way to becoming a wizard around the greens. Watch the full tutorial from Phil here

2. Chip to a Coin 

One of the easiest ways to improve your chipping is to get comfortable with your landing spot. Just like you pick targets with your full swing, you need to do the same for your short game too. 

To improve your imagination and visualization on the golf course, chip to a coin or poker chip. Set it down a few feet past the fringe (to avoid the dreaded fringe bounce) and try to land your chips on the marker. If you need a bigger target, use a small washcloth. 

Remember this visualization when you’re on the course to locate your landing zone and improve your chipping proximity. 

Chipping Drills

3. Improve Your Dart Game (Darts) 

Another common chipping drill/game is called darts. 

The premise is simple – take six golf balls and throw them around the chipping green. The key is to toss them into different spots, where you’ll face new lies and different angles to the pin.

Make sure to not change the lie, either – no matter how bad it’s sitting. Then, try to see how many chips you can get inside a three-foot circle (aka tap in distance). 

To make it even more effective, go through your full pre-shot routine and imagine being on the final hole of a tournament. You can also buy Lag Circle, which includes a 3 and 6-foot circle to improve your short game practice. 

4. Play a Par 2 Course (Putt Your Chip Drill) 

If you can find a chipping or putting green that allows you to chip and putt (somewhat rare these days), this is a fun drill. 

Grab your favorite wedge and putter and try to see how many up and downs you make going through your full routine. Use your normal golf ball to help replicate the spin (as they’ll spin much more than a worn down range ball). 

Play 9 or 18 holes – with each hole as a par 2 – and see how many you can get up and down. Make sure to mark your ball and go through your full pre-shot routine to make it more realistic to the golf course. 

5. Learn the 3-Wood or Hybrid Chip

One thing is for sure, the Golf Gods are always testing your abilities on the course. Sometimes you’ll face some awkward chips that require creativity to get the job done. 

A perfect example is when your ball is on the fringe and nestled against the rough. This makes it nearly impossible to chip it, as the grass is high and you’ll get too steep if you try using a putter. The solution is a 3-wood or hybrid chip.

You can play these shots like a putt-chip, where it will pop off the face and then roll like a putt. Before you attempt this shot during a round, make sure to nail the form in practice.

Read our full guide about putting with a hybrid now. 

6. Backyard Chipping Buckets 

If you can’t make it to the golf course as often as you’d like (or have a long offseason), these pop up nets are great. You can buy the one net with multiple targets or the three-pack with different sized chipping targets to hit at varying distances.

What’s great about these chipping targets is that they’re easy to set up and take down. You can practice anywhere, they come with a storage case, and can easily take them to the course too. 

Learn more on Amazon now. 

Keep it in the Black Chipping Drill

7. Try to “Keep It in the Black” 

To improve your accuracy when chipping, investing in a visual aid like Keep It in the Black is a great idea. This large target will help you chip and putt inside a three-foot circle and doesn’t affect the roll of the ball. 

Over time, you’ll learn to hit closer chips and hopefully save more shots during the round. It’s a low-cost tool that you can roll up and take with you to the golf course. Or, use it with a backyard putting green too. 

Read our full review of Keep It In The Black now. 

Other Chipping Games 

If you’re looking for more informal fun games when it comes to chipping, you’ll love these options too. 

Chippo Golf

Chippo is a fun chipping game that combines golf and corn hole in one awesome device. This comes with two chipping boards, two chipping mats, and foam practice golf balls. 

Chippo was named the winner of the Best New Product at the PGA Merchandise Show in 2018. And have been viral on social media – golfers love combining the two games. 

You get one point if you make it on the board, three points in the big target, or five points in the smaller two targets. You can play for 9 or 18 holes in a 1 vs 1 format or teams. 

They’re easy to take with you or always have set up in your backyard. 

Learn more on Amazon now. 

Battle Royale

Quickly transform your backyard into a golf “battlefield” with the Battle Royale. This massive chipping mat is great for friends and family to have some fun at home. 

This 4 x 6 mat (that comes with sticky wiffle balls) has water hazards, bunkers, rough, fairway, all with different scoring systems. You can use it at the beach, in the backyard, hang it on the wall, or anywhere else outdoors. 

The Battle Royale comes with a heavy-duty travel case, 16 balls (up to four teams/players), five game modes, and vertical hanging kit. If you’re going on a family vacation or like entertaining friends in the backyard, this is a no-brainer.

Learn more about Battle Royale here. 

Chipping Drills

FAQs About Chipping

Do you have more questions about making the most of your short game practice? If so, keep reading through the most frequently asked questions and answers now. 

What is the best way to practice chipping?

The best way is to simply practice chipping/pitching more often. 

So many golfers spend all their practice time on the driving range and forget to practice short games. Make a concerted effort to spend more time at the short game area this year to improve your scrambling skills. 

How do you stop the yips when chipping?

There’s nothing worse than fighting a battle of the yips on the greens or around them. Make sure to check out our full guide to the chipping yips now to beat this issue fast.

Another option is to try out a golf chipper. These unique clubs are loved by senior golfers and a great alternative if you’re struggling around the greens. Make sure to check out the best golf chippers now. 

How do you make chipping so much easier?

The way to make chipping easier is to dial in the fundamentals and keep the ball lower around the greens. Trying to play high pitch and flop shots invite bigger mishits and more double bogeys into your round. If possible, always see if you can putt from the fringe as your first resort.

If you can’t putt it, then chip it with a pitching or gap wedge as a bump and run type shot. But if you don’t have enough green for that shot, opt for a higher lofted shot as your last resort. Keep it simple so you can play the percentages and get your chip shot rolling like a putt. 

How do you not chunk chip shots?

The easiest way to not chunk chip shots is to play the ball middle-back with a narrow stance. If most of your weight is forward (about 70%) you’ll ensure a downward strike on the golf ball and make clean contact. Make sure to choke up on the club so you always accelerate and should make solid contact. 

Chipping Drills

My Experience

I grew up very short (less than five feet going into high school) and was not a long hitter, which taught me the importance of short game practice. This led to me spending a ton of time at the chipping green, learning to hit all types of shots to get up and down more often. Eventually I grew, hit it further, and had a solid short game to back it up.

If you want to take your game to the next level, consistent short game practice is key. Once you develop good technique, these shots will stick with you and help on your off ball striking days. The problem is that most golfers avoid the chipping area – especially greenside bunkers – then wonder why they struggle on the golf course.

Make it a priority to schedule time for short game practice, then have a plan when you go. Map out in advance which chipping drills you’ll do and how long your session will last to stay accountable. You can also practice with a friend to make it more fun and simulate pressure by adding a small bet too. 

Final Thoughts 

As you can tell, there is no shortage of chipping drills and games to make the most of your practice sessions. 

The key is to schedule more time at the short game area so you can work on this vital part of your game. The more you can develop in practice with proper technique, you’ll become so much more confident when you miss the green on the course. 

If you’re struggling with chipping, you might also consider cross hand chipping, as it’s worked wonders for Matthew Fitzpatrick. Learning the rule of 12 can also help improve your consistency around the greens. 

Now that you have your chipping dialed in, make sure to check out our best putting drills next. You might also want to consider an indoor putting green so you can work on your stroke regardless of the weather or a busy schedule.

Picture of Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard

Michael is an avid golfer of 25 years who played in high school, college, and now competes in Arizona amateur events. He is a full-time writer, podcast host of Wicked Smart Golf, and mental golf coach.