You just hit a beautiful shot up to the green find out that you are just off the putting surface. You tell yourself “Don’t mess up, don’t mess up” and slowly take the club back to make the chip. You swing down at the ball and then… thud. You hit the ground before the ball, and your golf ball goes two feet in front of you.
How do you stop chunking chip shots? To stop chunking chip shots, the golfer needs to put more weight on their front leg and accelerate through the ball keeping the same clubface angle throughout the swing.
In this article, I am going to go over the main points you need to remember the next time you are going for a chip. My goal for you after reading this article is to have you feeling confident and ready to save some strokes around the green. Sound good? Let’s get started
What is a Chunk Shot in Golf?
A chunk shot in golf is when the golfer hits the ground before the golf ball. This swing error can happen with any golf swing but is most prevalent when chipping around the green. Chunk shots are also called:
- Fat shots
- Chili dip
- Turf eaters
What Causes a Chunk Shot?
The most common movement that causes a chunk shot is that the golfer’s weight moves too far behind the golf ball and causes the club to bottom out before the ball. We call this movement a lateral shift.
Quick Fix for Weight Movement
To fix a lateral shift of weight moving behind the golf ball, follow the steps below to remain over top of the golf ball.
- Without moving your arms, lean more weight onto your front hip. The center of your chest should now be passed the golf ball.
- Practice making swings keeping your center ahead of the golf ball and feel the weight stay over the ball
- Make sure your head stays down during the whole duration of your swing so you don’t lift up and hit the top of the ball
3 Chipping Steps to Change you Game
Now that we have fixed the lateral shift moving behind the ball, its time to learn the 3 chipping steps to become more consistent around the putting surface!
- Setup- Start with a narrow stance when addressing the golf ball. Remember to keep your weight on your front hip and keep it there during the chip shot.
- Backswing- Keeping your weight over the ball, use your shoulders to take the club back. The lead arm will stay extended and the center of your body will still be over the golf ball
- Follow Through- The key of the follow through is to make sure that you keep the club’s face angle the same while accelerating through the ball. What do I mean? Pretend that there is a glass of water that is balancing on top of your clubface. That class of water should not fall off after your follow through your shot. (The clubface will still be facing the sky)
Common Chipping Errors and How to Fix Them
- Not accelerating enough- I see this example often when golfers take the club back correctly but then shorten the followthrough making a “stabbing” motion down at the ball. Correction: Keep the tempo of your chip smooth, like a pendulum. Once you take your club back, make sure you follow through keeping the arms away from the body.
- Weight moves during backswing- Many golfers when first learning the chip shot will move their weight back with their arms during the backswing. The movement of keeping your body still while only moving the shoulders will feel awkward the first few times. Correction: Feel like you are falling into your shot. This is an exaggerated way to keep the weight over the ball and not falter. Remember, that if you are hitting behind the golf ball, it is because your weight shifted back.
- Feet are two wide at address- When you set-up next to the golf ball and your feet are spread apart too far when chipping, so will your weight during your swing. Correction: Narrow your stance so that your feet are about 6″ away from one another. The closer your
- If you have the time and a few extra bucks, I highly recommend looking into the Tour Striker Training Aid. This golf aid helps golfers keep their wrists flat throughout the swing and helps avoid both chunk and thin chips.
What is a thin shot? – A thin shot is when a golfer makes contact with the top half of the golf ball producing a low ball flight. This type of shot is usually caused when a golfer flips their wrists at impact.
What club do you use to chip around the green?- The most common club to chip around the green is the pitching wedge. Depending on the type of surface your golf ball is in, many golfers use higher lofted clubs when needing to “pop” the ball up or lower lofted clubs when they need more roll on their chip.
How do you hit a flop shot?- To hit a flop shot, the golfer needs to use a high lofted club (like a sand wedge or lob wedge), play the golf ball in front of their front foot, open the clubface and accelerate through the shot.