Some people are asking, “Are golf chippers legal? Can this special club be used in tournaments? Chippers are oftentimes used to get out of tricky situations around the green. It also makes the short game more fun and easier for most golfers.
A golf chipper is legal to use in any course and even in professional tournaments for as long as it’s not two sided and not fitted with a putter grip. It does make the game easier for more people in the same way extra wedges and fairway woods help golfers faced with different challenges.
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What is a golf chipper?
A chipper is a golf club that is shaped like a putter and swung like one. An easily recognizable difference is the grip because a chipper is mandated to be gripped like any regular club. A closer scrutiny will also reveal that a putter has very little loft (3~4 degrees) while a chipper has about 32~37 degrees. A legal chipper is gripped like an iron or a fairway wood unlike the putter which can have a putter grip. Unlike the putter, a chipper can also come with two usable sides but golf rules do not allow it in official tournaments. Having a chipper with two sides is like carrying an extra club.
What makes a chipper different from a putter is its loft which makes it handy around the green and a bit farther. With a chipper, you can easily do the bump and run and avoid chunked shots, shanks, and blading the ball to the next tee mound. For most golfers, a chipper is the difference between an easy and a very challenging short game. With a chipper, golf can be very simple and more fun for you.
In What Situations Can I Use a Golf Chipper?
A chipper is used when the ball is just off the green. It can also be used from a little farther provided that fairway conditions make rolling the ball a good strategy. Instead of using wedges, you can simply use the chipper like a putter and execute a perfect bump and run to send the ball into the green and towards the hole. Just aim in the direction that you want and send the ball using the chipper.
Pros and Cons of Golf Chippers
A chipper is perfect for the bump and run and prevents errors associated with irons (like chunks and shanks). With a chipper, you also eliminate the possibility of striking the ball with the leading edge and sending it to the next fairway. A chipper can make the short game very easy and because of that, some golfers frown upon its use. Golf is difficult and they feel that we should master it using the standard clubs. Having played golf for a long time, I certainly disagree. I see a lot of golfers carrying many wedges and use it to be able to get out of the bunkers and/or chip around the green. That is no different from having a chipper.
A known disadvantage of a golf chipper is its known limited use. It is only known to be used off the green or from a little farther. A golfer can only carry 14 clubs during a match and some would rather carry extra woods or wedges instead of a chipper.
A chipper has a loft of about 37 degrees and depending on the brand, it is the same loft as that of a 5/6/7 iron. With some practice, #5 ~ #7 can be used like a golf chipper. There are also golfers who prefer to position the ball at the back of their stance and use a wedge. The results are similar.
Should I use a golf chipper?
We already know the answer to the question, “Are golf chippers legal?” Since it is, there should be no stopping you from using it. However, here are some factors that you might want to consider.
Instead of a chipper, some golfers would prefer to use Irons (#5 ~ #7) or even a gap wedge for the same purpose. There are also those who prefer to have more fairway woods or wedges in their bags. Notwithstanding, there are golfers who would rather use a golf chipper instead of another wedge. They have no distance management problems and the bunker so they don’t need additional fairway woods or wedges.
Both arguments are good. The most difficult part of golf is played a few meters around the hole. Therefore, carrying a special (but legal) club that will help shave off strokes is a brilliant strategy. Remember, a stroke shaved off your score is equivalent to the advantage gained by a long drive.
My advice will be for you to assess yourself. If you feel that you need golf chippers to improve your game, use it by all means. Golf chippers are legal golf clubs and nobody can stop you from using it.