Many golfers are struggling with their short games. Some players resort to using a utility or a special club, such as the chipper, in tackling short games.
But are chippers legal in golf ? Yes, golf chippers are legal in golf, but has some limitations. The chipper is also known as the ‘beginner’s wedge’, and makes the play easy for some.
Find more about golf chippers and how they become legal in golf.
Read More: Best Golf Clubs for Teenagers?
Is A Chipper Legal In Golf?
Golf chippers are legal because they are iron clubs instead of putters. They are also legal to use on any golf course, but here is the catch: they should not have putter grips and not be double-sided (more about this later).
According to the 2019 R&A Rules Limited and the USGA; a “chipper” is an iron club designed primarily for use off the putting green, generally with a loft greater than ten degrees.
Can You Utilize A Chipper Club In A Golf Tournament?
Yes, you can use a golf club chipper in professional tournaments and regular competitions. You can use this club as long as it has a conventional grip (not a putter grip) and is single-faced. Also, legal chippers must not exceed the 14 clubs allowed in your carry bag.
Also, to make a chipper legal in a competition: it should have a length the same as the 7-iron. Pleasure players can use a two-sided chipper but should take it out of the bag during an official tournament.
Should You Use A Golf Chipper?
Not necessarily. However, there are such times golfers have difficulty hitting a short iron or a wedge around the fairway. In these instances, a chipper is a better alternative.
Any golfer can utilize a chipper, especially mid- and high-handicap players. But still, using a chipper always boils down to personal choice. Here are some circumstances when you should or should not pick up a chipper.
When Should You Consider Purchasing A Chipper?
- Even when you try practicing a lot and nothing good comes close to chipping, it is time to buy a chipper.
- You have difficulty using a wedge because of old age and issues with your wrists.
- When you are a mid- or high-handicapper grappling throughout the greens.
- You always want to chip and run plays around the green but struggle to do so using irons.
- If you prefer using a putter within the green instead of chipping.
When Should You Consider Not Buying A Chipper?
- When you want more spin on the ball.
- When you have low or mid-handicap without difficulty hitting shots around the green.
- If you are a golfer with plenty of time practicing your irons or wedges on short games.
- When you prefer to have more control over the ball.
- When on the green, you have more confidence using a wedge.
Is Double-Sided Chippers Legal In Golf?
Double-sided (two-sided or two-way chippers) are not legal in golf. Two-way golf chippers have designs suitable for left or right-handed golfers. The club has two faces to get you away from tough lies using either your left or right hand.
The double-sided design violates USGA’s Rule 4-1d. This rule prescribes that the chippers club head should have only one striking or visible face. However, if the club has two faces, each should have different characteristics and appearance.
How Far Can You Hit A Golf Chipper?
We always use a chipper at around 30 yards or less. However, many golfers also use a chipper a little farther than 30 yards when facing the fringe off the green.
Are Chippers Legal On The PGA Tour?
Yes, it is legal to use single-faced chippers on the PGA Tour. However, you will seldom see a professional player uses one. The main reason is that chippers are more suitable for mid to high-handicappers. A chipper gives professional golfers less control over ball spin.
Also, pro golfers need to control the spin, distance, and flight near the pin. They can do it better using their irons or wedges than chippers.
How Do You Use A Chipper Around The Green?
A chipper is more likely to act as a putter around the green. Here are some of the steps on using a chipper.
- Step 1: Grip the chipper like when doing a putting stroke.
- Step 2: Position your hands upstanding while your feet are close to the golf ball.
- Step 3: When striking the ball, swing your arms to and fro from your shoulders like doing a putting stroke. But maintain your lower body un-movingly.
Differences Between A Wedge And A Chipper
Here are some of the differences between a chipper and a wedge:
- Chippers have a lie angle between 68 and 70 degrees. It is more upright compared to the four wedges.
- Chippers have longer shafts than wedges. The average shaft length of a chipper is 36 inches, while wedges are 35 inches.
- Wedges appear more like irons, while chippers are similar to putters.
- Chippers have wide and heavy heads than wedges.
What Is A Golf Chipper?
A chipper is similar in shape to a putter but has the same loft as 7-, 8, or 9-irons. The USGA classifies chippers as irons, but its head is similar to a putter. Chippers usually come with 30 to 37-degree lofts.
The chipper is ideal for shots too long for a putter but too short for a wedge. The club is also more practical in short grass, rough, or just a few feet from the green.
Chippers have better lie angles suitable for placing flat on the ground during the address. The club is easier to hit by mid- and high-handicap players compared to high-loft wedges or irons.
Pros And Cons of Golf Chippers
Every golf club in your bag has its ups and downs. For chippers, here are some of their advantages and disadvantages:
- The club makes the short game easy to play for beginners and high-handicappers.
- A chipper may eliminate the possible leading edge strike.
- Prevents or minimizes errors related to irons.
- A chipper is a utility club getting you closer to the chip shots.
- Ideal for bump & run shots.
- The chipper has limited use.
- The club is more effective within a 30-yard range.
- A chipper is known for use on the green.
Where to Use a Chipper?
The chipper is used around the green. Chippers have a lower loft (than wedges) used in short swings inside the greens but provide rolls similar to a putt. A golf chipper can minimize the ball spin while keeping it low and rolling like a putt.
1. How far can you hit a chipper in golf?
A chipper is usually ideal for hitting around 30 yards and closer. Depending on the brand of a chipper, it may come with a loft between 30 and 60 degrees. Chippers have a length like a 7-iron with a short swing and roll like a putt, suitable for this distance.
2. Can you do a putt with a chipper?
Yes, you can do a putting shot using a chipper club. A chipper hits the ball with a putting stroke and gives you closer chip shots. The club also minimizes problems with wrist action, especially for junior and beginner players.
3. Can you do full swing with a chipper?
Yes, you can take a full swing using a chipper if you need a distance of more than 30 yards. A full swing is also possible if there is a rough (or fringe) between you and the target.
4. What are the best golf chippers available?
One of the best golf chippers we tried is the Square Strike Wedge (for Men & Women). This chipper is Tour legal and available in left and right-hand orientations. This chipper eliminates fat shots with extra forgiveness.
Another chipper worth every penny is the Tour Edge Golf Hot Launch 4 Mallet Chipper.
Nowadays, there is a popular short game chipper designed for simple bump and run chip shots close to the green. It is the Ping ChipR. However, the price may not suit the budget of beginners and junior players.
5. Do pro golfers use chippers?
Professional golfers seldom use golf chippers. However, a famous European Tour player, Guido Migliozzi, was seen at the 2021 Kenya Savannah Classic using a chipper.
6. Why are chippers frowned upon by some golfers?
Many veteran golfers frown-upon chippers because of the assumption that they make the short game easier for high-handicap players. More experienced golfers also see chipper clubs as a gimmick.
The truth is that high-handicap and beginner golfers can do more controls around the green using a chipper.
7. Are golf chippers any good?
Chipper clubs are a better alternative for high-handicappers and some mid-handicap players struggling to make a putt around the green. Also, the chipper makes the game more fun for pleasure golfers.
So, are chippers legal in golf? We hope that we respond to your question in detail.
We can also conclude that a chipper is a better alternative for golfers struggling with wrist action problems. Although chippers are mainly for mid or high handicappers, any golfer can use them.
After all, one-sided and non-putter grip chippers are legal in golf: whether in tournaments or leisure plays. You can benefit from a chipper, especially when struggling with your short game.