Golf chippers are excellent clubs for those who struggle with traditional chip shots. They offer help that wedges don’t, but those who need a chipper might ask, are chippers legal in golf?
We’ve all stood over a chip shot at some stage with no confidence in our abilities. Maybe you’ve been chunking your chips short or knifing them through the green.
These shots can cause your scores to rise quickly. But it doesn’t need to be like that because a golf chipper can come to the rescue.
A chipper is closer to a putter than a wedge. The similarity to a putter makes chippers easier to use than wedges.
This ease of use makes chippers excellent for beginners and high handicappers. They greatly reduce the risk of fat and knifed shots.
But the question remains, are chippers legal in golf?
Are Golf Chippers Legal?
In short, yes, golf chippers are legal. A golf chipper is acceptable to use in tournament play as long as it meets to following criteria:
- The chipper isn’t fitted with a putter grip.
- The club isn’t a two-sided chipper.
You can’t use a chipper with a putter grip in tournament play because it offers too much of an advantage. Chippers are already easy to use, but a putter grip makes them even simpler to hit. It essentially makes them too much like a putter.
You can’t use a two-sided chipper in tournament play because it violates USGA rules. A two-way chipper has two faces that you can use to strike the ball.
That gives players an unfair advantage in a tournament, so it’s not allowed. For instance, a right-handed golfer could play left-handed if their ball was near a tree. It makes the shot easier if they wouldn’t have a proper stance if they tried it right-handed.
The USGA deems chippers to be an iron.
So, two-sided chippers are illegal because the USGA says that a clubhead shall have “only one striking face except for putters with similar faces.”
A two-sided chipper would be legal if the USGA classified them as putters. Technically, putters are allowed to have two striking faces.
You can use a chipper during a tournament as long as it doesn’t have a putter grip and isn’t two-sided. Using a legal chipper could help you out if you struggle with your chipping.
What is a Golf Chipper?
A golf chipper is a club similar to a putter, but it has around 37 degrees of loft, while a putter typically has four degrees of loft. So, a chipper has the same loft as a 7 or 8-iron but with the design of a putter.
Chippers are designed to lift the ball into the air when you’re close to the green. Most players use chippers for ‘bump and run’ shots around the greens. They can chip the ball into the air and let it run toward the hole.
A chipper shaft is generally around 36 inches long, slightly longer than a putter. Also, golf chippers usually have plenty of offset to keep your hands in front of the ball at impact. That reduces the risk of making a bad connection when you’re chipping.
Golf chippers are the perfect substitute for wedges if you struggle with chipping around the greens. Beginners and high handicappers often chunk wedge shots because the leading edge can dig into the ground if you don’t have the skill to use it properly.
But a chipper has a wide and flat sole. It glides over the turf, making it almost impossible to hit a chunked shot.
It’s also much easier to knife a wedge shot than one with a chipper. You use a putting stroke with a golf chipper, reducing the risk of an error.
And the ball pops into the air because of the loft and runs onto the green. Reducing the risk is a huge part of golf, and chippers allow you to do that around the greens.
Who Should Consider Using a Golf Chipper?
The following types of players should consider using a golf chipper.
- Beginners and high handicappers
- Those who can’t play a chip and run with an iron
- Players who regularly chunk and knife wedges around the greens
- Senior golfers with wrist issues
- Those who have limited wrist mobility
- Players who usually putt when off the green rather than chip.
Who Shouldn’t Consider Using a Golf Chipper?
You probably shouldn’t consider using a golf chipper if you’re one of the following players.
- Low-to-mid handicappers
- Those trying to reach a single-digit handicap
- Players who like to spin the ball
- Golfers who want more control around the greens
- Those who can chip close with wedges
- Someone who practices your short game with wedges and irons.
How to Use a Golf Chipper
To use a golf chipper, you should take your normal grip or your putting grip if it’s different. Just make sure you’re gripping the club comfortably.
Stand closer to the ball with an upright posture because the sole of a chipper is flat. Your hands must be more upright compared to a wedge shot; otherwise, the heel of the chipper will connect with the turf when you swing.
Your swing should be the same as your putting stroke. Swing your arms from the shoulders without hinging your wrists, and keep your lower body still.
Don’t try to force anything but let the chipper do the work. The lofted face will lift the ball into the air, and once it lands, it’ll release along the green.
The length of your stroke controls how far the ball will travel. It takes practice to hone your distance control with a chipper, but you can get amazingly accurate once you do.
Three Best Golf Chippers
1. Square Strike Pitching and Chipping Wedge
One of the big advantages of the Square Strike Wedge is its anti-rotational weighting, so you can swing it more steadily and keep it level as you’re coming through the striking zone. The heavy and solid feel promotes better confidence that you’ll strike the ball properly.
- Extremely forgiving
- Only needs a compact swing
- Simple but effective design
- Great price
- Not the best for longer approach shots
This wedge is tournament legal, so you can always have it in the bag. The extra-wide sole and beveled leading edge prevent the club from digging. It’s excellent if you struggle with chunked chip shots.
The anti-rotational weighting in this chipper makes it extremely stable. It makes it easier for you to strike the ball well around the greens.
This chipper has a heavy clubhead that helps minimize overactive hands and wrists. Overall, it makes chipping easier around the greens.
2. Mazel Golf Pitching and Chipper Wedge
Specially designed for those golfers who struggle with their short games, effectively eliminating thin and fat chip shots from the fringe and around the green compared with traditional irons. It gives you more confidence and improves your short game instantly.
- Heavy head with a wide sole
- Legal for tournament play
- Four loft options
- High-performance grip
- Takes some getting used to
The Mazel chipper has a heavy head with a wide sole. Its design helps those who tend to chunk their chip shots.
The weight in the clubhead means you don’t need a big swing. You can swing smoothly and let the chipper do its job around the greens.
This chipper is tournament legal. Also, there are four loft options to choose from, so you can find the right one for you.
3. Tour Edge Hot Launch 4 Mallet Chipper
If you’re constantly worried about blading it when near the green, this is a solid option for your game. This features a heavy, super-wide sole that cuts through rough easily.
- Heavy, super-wide sole
- Works well up to 50 yards
- Good quality
- Two length options
- Only one loft choice
This chipper has a heavy, super-wide sole that makes it easy to hit. It also cuts through rough easily, making it a versatile chipper.
You can use this golf chipper around the greens. Also, it works well even from 50 yards out.
This chipper is made from good-quality materials. It should last you for a long time and many chip shots.
You should use a golf chipper if you struggle to chip with your wedges and irons. Some golfers regularly chunk or knife their chip shots around the greens.
If that’s you, we recommend trying a chipper. It’ll make those shots much easier and help you lower your scores.
Better players may want to avoid using a golf chipper. Often, these players need more control over the ball and need spin.
Chippers won’t help lower handicappers spin the ball. It’s virtually impossible to get spin with a chipper.
Chippers are legal on the PGA Tour. Pros can use a chipper if it isn’t two-sided and not fitted with a putter grip.
But no pros on the PGA Tour use a chipper. And you’re unlikely to ever see a pro using one on the Tour.
Tour Pros don’t need the extra help that a chipper offers golfers. They could get the same result with a 3-wood through to a wedge.
A pro carrying a chipper is a waste of a club. They’d much rather carry an extra wedge for more control around the greens.
Yes, you can take a full swing with a chipper. You can technically hit a chipper for any approach shot, as long as you can hit it far enough.
Chippers come in various lofts, with some even having 60 degrees of loft. So, you could take a full swing with a 60-degree chipper for short approach shots if you wanted to.
Now we know that chippers are legal in golf. Just make sure yours isn’t two-sided or doesn’t have a putter grip, and you’ll be able to use it in tournament play without breaking the rules.
Chippers make it easier for beginners and high handicappers to play chip shots around the greens. You can use a putter stroke with a chipper, minimizing the chances of hitting a bad shot.
Those who tend to chunk or knife chip shots should consider a golf chipper. They can also help senior golfers with wrist issues or players with limited wrist mobility.
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