For certain gameplay situations in golf, such as when you have a hard time getting your ball to move out of the green, a chipper can be a good choice.
Many handicappers, especially those who find that wedges are damaging their short game, benefit from using a chipper. But the question is, are chippers legal in golf?
In this guide, we’ll be looking at the legality of chippers and how you can use a chipper to improve your golf gameplay.
What Is a Chipper?
A chipper is a type of golf club with the same shape as a traditional putter, and at first glance, it may seem the same. However, a closer look at a chipper will show that it has a higher loft (32-37 degrees) than a putter (3-4 degrees).
The loft sets a chipper apart from a regular putter. It lets you hit a golf ball farther and more accurately around the green. For most players, a chipper is beneficial to their short game. With a chipper in hand, playing golf becomes very simple and more exciting.
Furthermore, a legal chipper has a grip that’s similar to that of a fairway wood or an iron, and it can have two usable sides. Unfortunately, tournaments don’t allow this because it’s like carrying an extra set of clubs.
Are Chippers Legal in Golf?
The USGA says that the sport allows the use of chippers, but they have some rules about their usage. For instance, you can’t use a two-way chipper or a long one. The USGA also prohibits players from using a putter grip while using a chipper.
According to the USGA’s Equipment FAQ, golf chippers are more like iron clubs than putters, so that’s why they are legal. In addition, since they’re considered to be clubs, they must follow the same regulations guiding other equipment in the game. To determine whether or not you can use a chipper in play, you can check for a stamp that reads “USGA qualified.”
The following are a few guidelines for using chippers:
- A putter grip can’t be used with a chipper
- There cannot be two hitting faces on the putter (a two-way chipper featuring a clubface on each side of the head)
- The putter should not feature any attachments used for aiming
- Long chippers are not permitted (the chipper and 7-iron must be the same length)
It is crucial to abide by the USGA’s regulations. Anyone found utilizing a two-way chipper will be immediately disqualified, along with the entire squad.
Are Chippers Legal in Golf Competitions?
While chippers are permitted in golf tournaments, it’s unlikely that you would see a pro using one while playing. In fact, pros generally frown upon employing a chipper.
Why? Because chippers are made especially for people who have a mid-to-high handicap. Additionally, chippers give the golfer much less control over the spin of their ball. A chipper is not frequently used in professional golf since a player with high skill levels prefers total control over the ball and its corresponding spin.
When Is a Golf Chipper Useful?
The secret to using a golf chipper successfully is recognizing when to utilize it. Don’t use a golf chipper to hit a full-swing golf shot. The results won’t be as expected because the club is a little too heavy. This is a straightforward, simple golf shot that players can use for close-range approaches around the green.
Beginners and higher handicappers typically benefit most from using a chipper. Thus, golfers still learning to improve their short game will find it useful. If you’d rather have a legal and simple way to change your game without taking out your wedge, a chipper could be a good alternative.
On the 20-Yard and in Approach to the Green
When you are less than 20 yards from the hole, it becomes logical to think about using the chipper. Don’t think of the chipper as a long-hitting wedge, hence a complete golf swing shouldn’t be used to hit it. You ideally want the lower lofted wedge to fly roughly 20 yards and beyond.
Consider using a golf club with a greater loft as you move closer to the hole to ensure you get the proper landing.
Tiny Chip From Fringe
A chipper is an excellent club to use from the fringe. However, some golfers with higher handicaps or newcomers find it difficult to regulate their pitching wedge’s distance properly.
With the chipper in position, you may easily pop the ball to the desired location on the green. The chipper’s forgiveness makes it easier to remove the small chip.
Pin Behind the Green
The chipper can be a terrific option if you slightly misjudge your approach shot and land near the front of the green rather than the back, where the pin has landed.
Since you are already very close to the hole, you don’t want to hit your shot above the green and farther away from the pin.
What Benefits and Drawbacks Come With Using a Chipper?
After learning when you should use a chipper, it’s a good idea to grasp why it’s a useful tool and where you can have trouble with specific aspects.
Improved Golf Stroke
With the chipper, a golfer can use a shorter golf swing and still produce a great shot. All you need to do is make a putting motion with a slightly lofted club, and the ball will drop gently and with lots of control on the green.
Many options available are quite forgiving because the chipper is more suited to an individual with a greater handicap or a beginner. As opposed to other wedges in the bag, anticipate that the performance of the golf club will be more consistent. Thus, for golfers who have trouble with consistency and distance control, the chipper is a wise alternative.
Simple To Understand Distance Control
It is incredibly simple to acquire distance control. Learn to accomplish this by taking swings of various sizes and observing the range of the shots they produce. Longer chip shots should emerge from longer swings.
Very Little Spin
Making a chipper stop can be difficult. The ball rolls better toward the target with this club. It is probably not the greatest choice for individuals who want to make the ball spin and land in a certain spot. Instead, seek out a wedge with greater loft and strong spin qualities.
Not Great for Making a Full Approach on the Green
Don’t use this club in a full golf swing. The chipper is slightly heavier than other wedges since it aids golfers in maintaining control and footing throughout the entire shot. If you decide to make a full swing, you might miss out on good club head speed, which could lead to a shot that is more akin to a line drive coursing through the green.
Poor Shots from Bunkers
Although you can employ the chipper when hitting out of a bunker with a low lip, it does not produce the percentage shot. Choose a club that has significantly more loft and bounce instead. Even though some golfers have mastered a bunker shot that includes the chipper, it is undoubtedly not a tried-and-true technique.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is using a chipper allowed on the green?
The chipper is more useful on the fringe. Using a putter on the green is better. Golf courses often discourage the use of wedges because of the harm they can cause.
2. Do golfers disapprove of golf chippers?
Sometimes golfers disapprove of chippers because they sometimes resemble a fad. However, chippers are entirely legal golf clubs, with some of the leading manufacturers in the sport using them.
3. Which is better, a wedge or a golf chipper?
Both the golf wedge and the golf chipper are excellent options for players. Due to the chipper’s ability to teach the basics and significance of chipping, beginners and those with higher handicaps frequently find success with it.
4. Are golf chippers useful to pros?
Currently, professionals do not use chippers, primarily due to the club’s low spin rates, which make the ball move across the green without the control the experts require.
We hope that after reading this, you have a better understanding of what chippers are, why they are legal, and whether you should carry one in your bag this golf season.
A specialized chipping club can be for you if you are having trouble with your golf swing in the chipping range. Take advantage of any assistance you can obtain as a golfer with a handicap because shots around the green are vital to your scoring. Watch how the golf ball responds by using a chipper on the course. It might be the secret to improving your short game.