What Is A Chip In Golf? – Explained!

what is a chip in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms commonly mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the term “Chip”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly is a “Chip” in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what the term “Chip” means in golf.

What Is A Chip In Golf?

In golf, a “Chip” is a shot type in which the ball follows a parabolic trajectory, over a relatively short distance, often accompanied by some rolling upon landing. A “Chip” is somewhat of a lobbed shot, generally resulting in the ball travelling more roll distance than carry distance.

In the great game of golf, the expression “Chip” is often mentioned on golf courses and on TV broadcasts.

In golf, the term “Chip” is the name given to a shot type in golf in which the ball is “chipped” in the air over a relatively-small distance, following a parabolic trajectory, before landing and often rolling a considerable distance.

In many cases, a “Chip” shot’s rolling distance will be superior to its carry distance, as the maximum height reached by the ball is often not that significant. This means that the ball will often spend more time rolling along the turf than travelling in the air during a “chip” shot.

“Chip” shots in golf are mainly reserved to short-to-middle game near or on the putting green. The slight lobbing trajectory of “chip” shots make them great tools for avoiding obstacles or longer turf such as in the rough near the green.

Chip shots can also make great approach shots in some situations, to land the ball closer to, or straight onto the putting green.

“Chip” shots are easier to hit with certain types of golf clubs, such as wedges and short irons. However, “chip” shots can be achieved with just about any club.

An interesting note to mention is that “chipping” a golf ball often leaves a divot in the turf, as a chunk of turf is ripped out of the ground during the swing. If you would like to know how to chip in golf, you can read our guide: How To Chip In Golf?

If you create a divot in the ground after chipping the golf ball, it is part of golf etiquette to fix it with a divot tool. As divots can ruin the fun experience of playing golf, especially during short game, it is often forbidden to chip the ball off the green in golf.

When you “chip” the ball in golf, you do not use full power, as it is a finesse-based type of shot. For this reason, the club head should often only be raised up to knee level during the backswing of a “chip” shot.

Down below you can see an example of a “Chip” shot’s trajectory.

Example of a "Chip" shot's trajectory
Example of a “Chip” shot’s trajectory

In the image above, you can see the approximate trajectory that many “chip” shots follow. You can see a parabolic ball path over a short distance that quickly turns to bouncing, and finally, rolling.

When you hit a “Chip” shot and the ball lands into or rolls into the hole, you performed a “Chip-In”. “Chip-ins” are considered impressive and will garner you some applause from the crowd.

If you would like to get better at accurately hitting your “Chip” shots and improve your golf score, you can read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Origin Of The Term “Chip”

The origin of the expression “Chip” in golf is quite simple, and is based in the English language.

The verb “to chip” in English means “to cut or break a small piece from something”.

In golf, when you swing to hit a “Chip” shot, you actually dig up a piece of turf out of the ground, creating a divot. This movement “breaks” the integrity of the turf, resulting in chipping.

It makes perfect sense where the term “Chip” shot got its name from in golf, as the swing causes the chipping of the turf.

Conclusion

There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what a “Chip” is in golf.

Do you have any other golf expressions you wish to know more about? How often do you “Chip” when you play golf? In which situations do you personally “chip” in golf? Let us know in the comments down below!