Stan Utley Chipping Technique

Let the clubhead do the work, not your arms. That's a huge piece of the puzzle in chipping.

1. Change your setup

The main thing I teach is that a chip shot--or a putt--isn't fundamentally different from a full shot.

On a chip, most average players take a pitching wedge and line up open, with the ball way back in the stance.

They then make a steep, chopping swing.

I teach players to set up square and more narrow, with the ball toward the front of the stance and more weight on the front foot.

I also teach them a technique that will get them to feel confident playing a wide variety of shots with a lofted 56- or 60-degree wedge.

2. Path is everything

Many players try to bring the club back straight along the target line, with an all-arms move. Instead, I let the clubhead travel on its natural plane, on a curve around my body. I rotate my forearms, fold my right elbow and make a very small pivot.

Having this lower-body movement is more natural and fluid.

My arms aren't swinging the club back. I'm doing that with a slight pivot of the knees and hips and forearm rotation. The forearm rotation is going to feel extreme when you first try it, but you'll be amazed at the efficiency of your effort.

'I tried it'


My main problem is chunking and skulling chips, so I was looking for something else to experiment with.

When I tried Stan's chipping technique, the first thing I felt was that it gave me permission to go ahead and hit the ball.

It felt more natural and athletic. When you hit it right, there's a sound to it--a click--and I liked having that feedback.