Are Chippers Legal In Golf? Regulations For This Club In 2023

When it comes to the game of golf, selecting the right club for each shot is crucial. While golfers are familiar with the assortment of clubs in their bag, one club that often sparks debate is the chipper. Designed to combine the characteristics of a putter and a wedge, the chipper can be a valuable tool around the greens. Have you tried using a chipper around the green?

It’s kind of like a putter and a pitching wedge combined! In this blog post, we will delve into the question, “Are chippers legal in golf?” and explore the specific regulations governing the use of this unique club on the course. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or new to the game, this guide will shed light on the status of chippers and provide clarity on their place within the Rules of Golf.

Are Chippers Legal In Golf

Fun story, I first saw a chipper when I went out golfing with my dad and his cousin. He starting almost putting from about 15 yards out. But the golf ball got some loft to it! I was very curios what type of club he was using. Turns out, it was a chipper!

Instead of using a sand wedge or lob wedge for a short distance around the green like this, the chipper wedge might just be the perfect club for you.

What is a chipper golf club?

A chipper golf club is a type of club designed to help golfers with chip shots around the green. It is a unique club that combines the characteristics of both a putter and a wedge. The chipper is primarily used for shots where the player wants to get the ball airborne quickly and have it roll towards the hole.

A chipper typically has a slightly higher degrees of loft than a putter but lower loft than a traditional wedge. It is designed to provide a consistent and reliable strike when playing chip shots from various lies and distances off the green. The club’s design often includes a more substantial and wider sole compared to a putter, which helps with turf interaction and prevents the club from digging into the ground.

The objective of using a chipper is to simplify chip shots by employing a putting-like stroke while still achieving some elevation to clear obstacles and control the roll of the ball. It can be particularly helpful for golfers who struggle with traditional wedge shots or who prefer a more straightforward and less complicated technique for chipping.

It’s important to note that the use of chipper golf clubs may be subject to certain regulations and restrictions outlined by golf governing bodies such as the R&A and USGA. Golfers should ensure that their chipper conforms to the rules of golf to be used in official play or sanctioned tournaments.

Can you use a chipper in golf tournament play?

First off, you probably won’t see a player on the PGA tour using a chipper.

The permissibility of using a chipper in a golf tournament depends on the specific rules and regulations set by the governing body or organizing committee of the tournament. The use of chippers is generally allowed in most amateur golf tournaments, as long as they conform to the rules and regulations of the event.

It’s essential to note that professional golf tournaments, such as those sanctioned by major tours like the PGA Tour or European Tour, typically adhere strictly to the Rules of Golf established by the R&A and USGA.

Under these rules, a chipper must meet the requirements set for putters, including having a loft of 10 degrees or less and being designed primarily for the purpose of putting.

To be certain about the permissibility of using a chipper in a specific golf tournament (not professional tournaments), it’s recommended to consult the tournament’s rules and regulations or contact the tournament organizers directly. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the equipment allowed in the event.

USGA Legal Chippers

The United States Golf Association (USGA) does not have a specific list of “USGA Legal Chippers.” Instead, the USGA provides guidelines and rules for golf clubs in general, including chippers, under the Rules of Golf.

To comply with the USGA rules, a chipper must meet the requirements set forth for putters. Here are the guidelines:

  • Loft of 10 degrees or less
  • Designed to be used primarily for putting

It’s important to note that the USGA continuously updates and revises the rules, so it’s advisable to consult the most recent edition of the Rules of Golf. Periodically check with the USGA directly for the most up-to-date information on the legality of chippers or any other golf clubs.

If you don’t follow these guidelines, your club could be considered an illegal club. If you’re just out there to have some fun, this may not matter. But when it comes to a tournament or country club play, this may be different.

golfer taking a chip shot

What are the benefits of using a golf chipper instead of a wedge?

Using a golf chipper instead of a traditional wedge can offer several potential benefits for certain golfers and specific situations. Since the short game in golf is often the most difficult to perfect, this club may be worth it to put in your golf bag. Here are some advantages of using a chipper:

Simplicity and Consistency

Chippers are designed to simplify chip shots and approach shots by employing a putting-like stroke. They have a clubhead and design that promotes a more straightforward and repeatable technique. For golfers who struggle with traditional wedge shots or have difficulty controlling distance and consistency, a chipper can offer a more reliable and predictable option.

Ease of Use

Chippers are designed to be user-friendly, particularly for golfers who may not have extensive experience or practice with wedge shots. The club’s design, with its slightly higher loft and wider sole, helps prevent the club from digging into the turf and provides forgiveness on off-center strikes, making it easier to achieve clean contact and get the ball airborne.

Golf Ball Roll Control

Chippers are effective at producing a low, rolling trajectory with controlled spin. This can be advantageous when the goal is to land the ball closer to the hole and allow it to roll out consistently. The reduced loft of a chipper, compared to a traditional wedge, can help minimize excessive height and increase predictability when it comes to controlling distance and rollout.

Confidence Boost For New Golfers

The simplicity and user-friendly nature of chippers can instill confidence in golfers who struggle with chip shots. Having a club that provides a familiar putting-like stroke and reliable results can improve a golfer’s mental approach to chipping, leading to more positive outcomes on the course.

It’s important to note that the benefits of using a chipper may vary depending on the golfer’s skill level, personal preference, and the specific circumstances of the shot. Golfers should experiment with different clubs, including chippers and wedges, to determine which option suits their game and helps them achieve the desired results around the green.

How do you hit with a chipper?

To effectively hit with a chipper club, follow these general steps:

  1. Set up your stance: Position yourself with your feet slightly apart, approximately shoulder-width apart. Place the ball slightly back in your stance, closer to your back foot.
  2. Grip the club: Hold the chipper with a standard grip, similar to how you would grip a putter. Ensure a comfortable and secure grip that allows for control and stability during the stroke.
  3. Align the clubface: Align the club face square to your intended target. The chipper’s design typically promotes a straighter stroke, so ensure the striking face is aligned correctly at address.
  4. Keep your body and wrists stable: Unlike full swings, chip shots require minimal wrist hinge and body movement. Maintain a stable and quiet lower body with minimal weight shift during the swing. Keep your wrists firm and avoid excessive flicking or breaking of the wrists.
  5. Use a putting-like stroke: Approach the chip shot with a putting-like stroke. Maintain a pendulum-like motion using your shoulders, with the arms acting as an extension of the pendulum. Focus on a smooth and controlled backswing and follow-through.
  6. Strike the ball cleanly: Aim to make clean contact with the ball using the center of the clubface. Avoid hitting the ground before the ball or sculling the shot by maintaining a consistent and shallow swing path.
  7. Control distance and trajectory: Experiment with varying the length of your backswing and the speed of your stroke to control the distance the ball travels. The loft of the chipper will influence the trajectory, with lower lofted chippers producing lower chip shots that roll more.
  8. Practice and refine: Like any golf shot, chipping with a chipper club requires practice and refinement. Spend time on the practice green, experimenting with different shots and getting comfortable with the club’s feel and performance.

What type of grip do you use with a chipper?

When it comes to the grip for a chipper, golfers often opt for a grip that is similar to their putting grip. The putting grip provides control and stability, allowing for a more consistent and reliable stroke. Here are a couple of common putter grip options for using a chipper:

Related: Best Grip For Putting To Improve Your Technique

  1. Traditional Putting Grip: This grip involves placing both hands close together on the club’s grip, with the palms facing each other. The top hand (for right-handed golfers, the left hand) will grip the club, and the bottom hand (for right-handed golfers, the right hand) will overlap or interlock with the top hand. This grip promotes a smooth and pendulum-like motion, similar to a putting stroke.
  2. Cross-Handed Grip: Also known as the “left-hand low” grip (for right-handed golfers), this grip involves placing the left hand (top hand) lower on the grip, closer to the clubhead, while the right hand (bottom hand) is higher up on the grip. The hands essentially switch positions from a traditional grip. This grip can help promote a more consistent and stable stroke, especially for golfers who struggle with wrist or hand movement during the chipping motion.
golf grip golfer with white golf glove

What are the regulations of a golf chipper?

The regulations for a golf chipper, as outlined in the Rules of Golf set by the R&A and USGA, are primarily focused on the club’s loft and its intended design and use. Here are the key regulations for a legal chipper:

  1. Loft: The loft of a chipper must be 10 degrees or less. This ensures that the chipper does not exceed the maximum loft allowed for a putter, distinguishing it from a higher lofted club, such as a wedge.
  2. Intended Design: A chipper must be primarily designed for the purpose of putting. While it combines elements of both a putter and a wedge, the club should be constructed and designed to facilitate putting strokes rather than full-swing shots.
  3. Non-Conforming Features: The chipper must not have any features or characteristics that would make it non-conforming according to the rules. This includes conforming to regulations on club length, head size, grip size, and other specifications outlined in the rules.

Are chippers frowned upon?

The perception of chippers in golf can vary among individuals and golfing communities. While some golfers may frown upon the use of chippers, considering them as unconventional or outside the traditional norms of the game, it is essential to recognize that opinions on this matter can differ.

The primary reason behind the potential frowning upon chippers is their departure from the traditional approach of using separate clubs for different shots. Chippers, with their unique design combining elements of both putters and wedges, are often seen as an alternative shortcut for chip shots around the green. This departure from traditional club selection and technique can lead to skepticism or disapproval from those who value the traditional aspects of the game.

However, it is crucial to note that the acceptability of chippers has evolved over time. As golfers continuously seek innovative ways to improve their game and find solutions for challenging shots, the use of chippers has become more widely accepted.

Some golfers appreciate the advantages that chippers can offer in terms of simplicity, consistency, and ease of use for chip shots.

We all know chipping and the short game is one of the most difficult but important parts of your galme.

Ultimately, whether chippers are frowned upon or not depends on the specific golfing community, the individuals involved, and their personal views on equipment choices. As long as chippers conform to the rules and regulations set forth by the governing bodies and are used within the guidelines of fair play, their usage should be respected as a valid option for golfers looking to enhance their short game skills.

Are two-way chippers legal in professional golf?

No, the use of a two-way chipper in professional golf tournaments is generally not allowed. Professional golf tournaments (like the PGA) adhere to the Rules of Golf established by the R&A and USGA.

If you’ve watched a lot of golf over the year, you probably have not seen professional golfers with a chipper club in their bag.

According to the Rules of Golf, a chipper must meet the requirements set forth for putters. This means it must have a loft of 10 degrees or less and be designed primarily for the purpose of putting. Two-way chippers, with faces on both sides, do not conform to the traditional design and intent of a chipper as outlined by the rules.

What type of golfers should try a chipper?

A chipper club can be beneficial for a variety of golfers, depending on their skill level, preferences, and specific needs around the green. Here are a few types of golfers who may find a chipper club particularly helpful:

  1. Beginners or High Handicappers: Golfers who are new to the game or have higher handicaps often struggle with consistency and confidence in their short game. A chipper club can simplify the chipping motion and provide a more forgiving option, helping beginners and high handicappers achieve cleaner contact and better results around the green.
  2. Golfers with Chipping Challenges: Some golfers may have difficulty executing traditional chip shots with wedges or struggle with inconsistent distance control. A chipper club’s design and technique can offer a more straightforward and repeatable option, helping golfers who have difficulty with other chipping techniques find more success and build confidence.
  3. Players Seeking Simplicity: Golfers who prefer a simplified technique and want to minimize the complexity of their short game may find a chipper club appealing. By combining elements of a putter and a wedge, a chipper club allows golfers to use a putting-like stroke while achieving some elevation. This can provide a more straightforward approach to chipping and reduce the need for multiple clubs in certain situations.
  4. Golfers with Limited Practice Time: For golfers who have limited time to practice their short game, using a chipper club can offer a quicker and more accessible option. The simplified technique and design of a chipper club may allow them to maintain a certain level of proficiency around the green without extensive practice or refining intricate chipping skills.

Best Golf Chippers

When searching for a chipper golf club for sale, consider factors such as the brand, model, condition, and price to ensure it meets your requirements and budget. Reading customer reviews and comparing prices from different sources can also help you make an informed decision.

Here are some of the best chippers if you’re looking to add it to your bag!

Recap of the golf chipper club

If you’ve never heard of a chipper before this, we hope this article was informative. There are many different types of clubs and they’re usually in a category like iron clubs, drivers, wedges, or putters. The chipper is the exception as it doesn’t fall into one of these – it’s a cross between a putter and an iron! It may not be a regular club you see often but as a new golfer or someone that struggles with their short game, the chipper may be a great club for you. We hope you can find the best chipper club to lower your score today!

tommy and melissa golf with luck

We’re Tommy & Melissa! A golf loving couple here to provide a resource for golfers of any level.

Tommy has been playing golf since he was 5 and is now a PGA golf professional.

Melissa started golfing as a hobby and has slowly worked to improve her golf game.

Golf With Luck was created to share tools and tips to help you lower your golf score!


Amateur golfer who is always looking for tips and tricks to lower my golf score.

At Golf With Luck, I am sharing my journey as a casual golfer and providing insight into tools I use myself to help progress my golf swing.

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