Control Chips Like Zack Johnson

One of the most frustrating shots in golf is the short chip where you chunk into the ground before the ball and drop the shot short of your target. Your problem is that you should be chipping your short shots and pitching your longer high shots. Chipping and pitching are 2 totally different shots. Learn the difference to get more shots close to the pin and make more 1 putt greens.

Chipping is all arms. [Your hips are not rotating.] Swinging through the ball like a full pendulum putting stroke with your shoulders for perfect directional and distance control. Your leading arm and wrist are held straight through your limited backswing.  Your stance is tight (feet 6 inches apart) and open (flared 30 degrees toward the target).

Practice with a putting stroke backswing and an equal amount of follow through to determine how a few of your favorite clubs [possibly a Pitching Wedge or 8 Iron] will perform in different depths of grass. Use the weight of your club to create the swing as this is NOT a power swing with full body rotation. Train for this modified golf swing with GOLFSTR+ mounted on your leading wrist and your trailing wrist to limit your wrist hinge.

For better direction control you can even make longer chip shots (a bump and run shot) with lower irons but you must avoid any wrist action. When you avoid hinging your wrist, it’s much easier to control the depth of the bottom of your arc as well as the direction of your swing. Setup with a narrow stance, feet flared forward and the ball resting off your trailing foot. Let your shoulders do all of the work.

Here is a YouTube Video of Zack Johnson helps you see the simple, short, “unrushed” swing of a chip shot.


Pitching uses a higher back swing and a wrist hinge so that you can release through the ball with more club head speed to launch the ball higher and with back spin. Setup with an open, narrow stance and the ball is in line with your trailing foot. For this shot you use body rotation (shoulders and hips rotated back) and then finish rotating through the ball.

Zack Johnson beat Tiger Woods on the 18th hole at the 2013 Northwestern Mutual World Challenge by sinking an 80 yard pitch shot (with backspin).  Zack and Steve Striker both have amazing control of their longer pitching swing by just swinging with a straight leading arm and a limited wrist lag. Zack had hit his second shot on the par 4, into the water surrounding the green. He jarred his pitch shot from the drop area. Tiger was shaken and made bogie to lose the tournament.  This is a great YouTube video of Zack’s pitch shot:

Missing shots that are 1 to 20 feet off the green are the most frustrating shots in golf. Don’t make a pitch swing when a nice short chipping swing will bump and run to the hole. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ on your leading wrist or your trailing wrist to minimize your wrist break and just “putt” through the ball.  Buy one today at

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