Why Are Chippers Frowned Upon? [Explained]

For those that struggle with chipping, golf chippers act as a great alternative to a wedge or a 9 iron when around the greens.

And provided your chipper is a legal golf club, there’s plenty of good options out there to help your short game.

However, the use of a golf chipper can quite often be frowned upon from other golfers in the game. So why are chippers frowned upon?

Why Are Chippers Frowned Upon?

Why Are Chippers Frowned Upon?

Why Are Golf Chippers Frowned Upon?

The main reason why golf chippers are generally frowned upon by other golfers is because they believe it shows a lack of skill for chipping.

If a golfer is playing a chipper, it’s usually because they have an issue with using a wedge to chip with and they need a little extra help.

Instead of practising technique and working on their chipping, they turn to a golf chipper as the solution. For some golfers, this may seem like taking the easy route and a form of cheating (even though they’re very legal in golf to use). But perhaps most of all, people believe that they’re not in the spirit of the game.

Chippers also get a bad reputation because they’re essentially a wasted golf club in the bag as a golfer can’t use it for anything on the golf course other than short chip shots from around the green.

A golf wedge, on the other hand, can be used for all sorts of shots such as a full swing from 80 yards, a flop shot over a water hazard or a splash out from the bunker.

It gives you total flexibility in what you can play, whereas a golf chipper will only let you play the low chip shot onto the green.

That being said, for high-handicap golfers, golf chippers can be a very good option for saving a few shots during a round and for those that really struggle with chipping, they can help make the game fun again.

When I first started playing golf, I tried out a chipper for a few rounds and they certainly do help if used correctly.

However, the lack of options available and the fact that it would hold me back if I wanted to improve soon made me realise that I was far better off with a lob wedge, gap wedge and pitching wedge in the bag rather than a chipper.

Advantages Of Using A Golf Chipper

If you’re struggling with your chipping, a golf chipper certainly has many advantages for a golfer and according to USGA rules, it’s allowed to be used.

Here’s a few of the benefits a chipper can offer as opposed to a wedge or short iron.

More Upright Lie Angle

The lie angle for a chipper tends to be a little more upright compared to a wedge, which means it’s less likely the heel of the club will dig into the ground and cause fat shots.

A more upright shaft means that the shot can be played with more of a putting stroke and using a putter grip, which can take a lot of the technique out of play.

Shorter Shaft

For many chip shots using an 8 iron or 9 iron, gripping down is key to getting a good strike.

Chippers tend to be the same length as a wedge, so there’s no need to grip down the shaft to ensure a good connection.

Heavier Head

The more weighted head on the chipper helps a golfer maintain a solid rhythm during a chip shot.

A club that’s too light can mean the shot gets a little handsy and can lead to mis-hit shots. The heavier chipper can help to avoid this and promote a nice pendulum motion during the swing.

More Bounce

The increased bounce and wider sole on a chipper mean that the chance of the leading edge digging in is far less likely than if you’re using a wedge.

Bounce on a club helps the club basically ‘bounce’ off the ground and stops fat shots from occurring, where the front of the club digs in too much.

A chipper can help to avoid this with a wider sole and increased bounce.

Disadvantages Of Using A Golf Chipper

There’s plenty of good reasons to be using a golf chipper, but what are the disadvantages associated with these types of golf clubs?

One Shot Type

The main issue with the golf chipper is its lack of use options other than just a chip and run shot.

By using a chipper, you’re missing out on the option to open up the face and play a high shot. Or if you’re stuck in a greenside bunker, there’s no much hope you’re getting out with a chipper. Even if you’re in thick rough, the chipper will struggle to cut through the grass and get the golf ball up.

So you’re really only left with one shot and that does limit its capabilities.


If you’re turning up to the first tee with a chipper in your golf bag, you best believe one of your golf buddies will have a word to say about it, and it won’t be positive.

If you can handle the relentless banter you’ll receive for owning a chipper, then it can prove a worthwhile piece of your golf equipment.

Final Thoughts

Although you won’t be seeing a professional golfer using one on the PGA Tour, for mid to high handicappers, a chipper can be a very useful golf club for your golf game.

Just be prepared to get a little bit of stick when you turn up for your next golf competition, as many golfers may have a slightly different opinion of golf chippers.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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