Golfers will do whatever it takes to shoot lower scores.
Whether it’s buying a new $500 driver, getting custom fit for clubs, or even hiring a sports psychologist. But there’s one aspect of the game that troubles a lot of everyday golfers and there might be an unexpected answer.
So, what part of the game am I referring to?
Chipping technique … So many golfers struggle with the chipping yips and it kills their confidence around the greens. The sad truth is that it can happen to anyone – even Tiger Woods in the 2020 season who has some of the best hands in golf.
What’s the possible fix?
Cross hand chipping.
It can correct leading edge issues and get forward shaft lean to hit it more consistently. Keep reading to learn more about this unique way to grip the club and how it might help your short game.
Cross Hand Chipping
While most golfers are familiar with cross hand putting (also referred to as left-hand low), few golfers knew about this grip for chipping. After playing golf for several decades myself, I had no clue about it until the 2022 PGA Championship.
But it wasn’t some no-name golfer using this method… It was the eventual winner of the US Open, Matt Fitzpatrick. He used this unorthodox technique to notch his first major championship and beat a stacked field.
Plus, Matthew is far from normal when it comes to the everyday player. He’s famously said that he tracks every single shot he hits in practice in a golf journal. This is insane commitment and he wouldn’t switch to this style unless he knew it would give him better results.
Now, cross hand chipping is becoming more popular, even if you don’t have the yips. Let’s get into how this technique works and see if it’s right for your game.
Chip Cross Handed vs. Regular Grip
Before making this change I suggest you evaluate your current chipping style.
Is it a strong part of your short game or something you constantly struggle with? If it’s a strength, I’d advise against changing your chipping style as it might cause more harm than good.
But if it’s a weakness in your game, make sure you’re also addressing the issue in practice. Here are a few helpful articles to master basic chip shots:
However, if you’ve done all the drills with a regular grip and are ready to invest in a chipper you’re so desperate for answers, then it might be time to switch your grip.
Benefits of Chipping Cross Handed
The first major benefit to this chipping style is consistency. Fitzpatrick explained during a PGA Tour interview, “I just found it more consistent. The ball comes off the face much more consistently. It’s the same every time.
You know what’s coming. When I was chipping normally, it’s not like I had the yips. I was just getting a lot of inconsistency in the strike, and the release. I started doing it a couple of years ago in the rough, because I felt the technique really got the (club)head out.”
So if you want some more consistency and never loved your conventional grip for chip shots, it might be time to try. Another big benefit is that if you get too much in to out with your stroke it can help fix the issue.
As mentioned in this YouTube video, cross hand chipping allows your trail arm to not get stuck. This makes your lead side more dominant and hopefully, creates a more consistent strike at the golf ball.
How to Cross Hand Chip
In the same PGA Tour interview from above, Matthew notes that he only uses this inside 30 yards. When it comes to hitting out of bunkers though, he uses his conventional grip.
Here’s how to execute the shot.
- First, grab the right club for the shot (the more green you have, the less loft so it releases more towards the cup).
- Next, put your left hand on the club first (assuming you’re a right-hander) so it’s lower on the grip. Then, place your right hand underneath the left.
- Then, make a few practice swings to see how the new grip style feels.
- Adjust your weight so it’s more on your lead leg and swing like normal.
- The ball should react the same to a well struck chip shot with a conventional grip.
Finally, make sure to practice chipping cross handed a lot before taking it to the golf course. Before you terrify your playing partners or try to take it to the final round of a big event, practice this left-hand low shot a lot.
This motion will feel quite different from normal and might take some time before it feels comfortable. Plus, you’ll want to practice it for longer chips of 20–30 yards too.
Also, it’s a good idea to create rules of “when” to use this shot. As Matt mentioned he still uses a conventional grip in the bunker and with high flop shots. So maybe only use this for bump and run type shots instead.
FAQs About Chipping Cross Handed
Do you have more questions about chipping to save more shots around the green? If so, keep reading to learn more now.
Which hand controls chipping?
Common golf instruction has led us to believe that the left arm is the dominant one for chip shots. But for the majority of players who are right-handed, this gives a lot of power to the non-dominant hand.
Sean Foley, a top golf instructor, suggested another method instead inside Golf Digest. “Try hitting chips with your right hand only. At address, lean the shaft a little toward the target so your right wrist is in a cupped position, and maintain that as you take the club back.
When you swing down, let your body pivot toward the target. If you keep the body pivot and arm swing moving together, your right wrist should stay cupped through impact.”
Try using both left and right to gain more control of chipping (or test out cross hand).
Is cross handed putting better?
Cross handed putting is an effective way to putt and the second most common on the PGA Tour (only behind a traditional putting grip). So yes, for a lot of players this is a great way to grip the putter and hopefully have fewer putts every single round.
A cross handed putting grip is so effective because it eliminates the right hand almost entirely. If you miss a lot of putts left from an overly active right hand (or even have the yips), cross handed is great. It’s also a great way to make a ton of putts from short range.
But there are some downsides with this type of grip style as well. Click here to learn more about cross hand putting now.
What is the rule of 12 in golf chipping?
The rule of 12 in golf is a way to understand the relationship between loft and how much the ball will release on the greens. Here’s how it works…12 yards (36 feet) is the most you want the ball to carry on a chip. Lower lofted clubs don’t go as high in the air and release much more than higher lofted clubs.
Let’s say you take an 8-iron – if you hit it 4 yards, it will release another 8 yards (4+8 = 12). While a pitching wedge will travel 6 yards and release another 6 (6+6 = 12).
For a lot of golfers this might be too much math/pacing chip shots on the course as a lot of players prefer to feel this type of shot. But for people wired like Bryson DeChambeau (aka the Scientist) it might work wonders.
Who uses the cross handed chipping style?
While Matthew Fitzpatrick’s is definitely the biggest name in the game to use it, he’s not alone. Other players over the years have included Vijay Singh and Chris Couch. In fact, Chris Couch used this style from the bunkers too (we don’t suggest this grip style from the sand).
Additionally, don’t forget that some players use this grip style for all shots. A good example is Korn Ferry player Josh Broadaway who uses it from tee to green with his full swing.
What is the best chipping method?
If you’re off the green it’s always best to first think about putting from the fringe. The old “Texas wedge” is the easiest and most reliable shot for the everyday golfer (and experienced players too).
Putting from the fringe doesn’t require a ton of changes and rarely do you miss as big as you would with chipping. But sometimes there’s too much fringe or something in your way and you need to chip.
Our rule is always putt if possible, then chip, then pitch as a last resort. The more you can get the golf ball on the green rolling like a putt, the easier it will be to save shots around the green.
Final Thoughts on Chipping Techniques
Cross handed chipping isn’t for everyone and not recommended if you’re already solid from around the greens. But if you’ve practiced chipping, done your short game drills and still aren’t getting the type of results you want, it’s not a bad idea. It can help your chipping stats and maybe save a few shots or few strokes during the round.
The good news is that you can practice this at the short game area and pretty quickly learn if it’s right for you. There’s no need to swap out your grips or anything either. Plus, if you use a cross handed putting grip, it’s likely going to be a much easier transition too.
Don’t forget, it worked for the 2022 US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick’s game who is extremely meticulous with his approach. He nearly won the PGA Championship too, despite having one of the most noticeable quirks in the game.
Needless to say, this left-hand low chipping technique might be just what your short game needs to break out of a slump.