The putter chipper or simply “the chipper” has enjoyed a long history with the game of golf but during the most recent era, its popularity has declined significantly. Regardless of this lack of popularity, the chipper is still very effective at doing its job around the green. But what exactly is that job and how do you even use a chipper? We’ll talk about all this in today’s segment of 6 Minutes With Sully.
What is a Chipper?
Before we can explain what a chipper does, we first have to figure out exactly what it is and how that design can make it useful. The chipper is a putter-like club that is usually between 32-37 degrees of loft, which is very similar to a 7 iron. While a chipper and a 6-7 iron might have a similar degree of loft, the weight and center of mass are much different in a chipper. This difference in weight distribution, along with the shallower swing plane used during the swing, allow the chipper to chop through greenside rough without getting caught the way a wedge might.
Using a Chipper
Now that we have a better idea of what a chipper is, we can look at how to use a chipper to score around the green. A shot using a chipper is very similar to another greenside shot, the hybrid chip, and produces a ball flight that is also similar (although slightly higher). While both of these chips produce similar ball flights, they are both based on the simple bump and run chip that most golfers are familiar with. The chipper is perfectly designed to perform this shot and excels at chipping the ball over short patches of rough or fringe around the green. You can see one example of this to the right.
While choosing when to use a chipper is slightly arbitrary, actually hitting the shot is the easiest part of the entire process. Unlike a flop shot or other types of chips, there is almost no difference between hitting a shot with a chipper and hitting a putt. To hit your chip simply address the ball how you would normally and strike the ball slightly softer than you would if you were putting from that distance. The difference in force that you put on the shot should cancel out the fact that the ball will face less resistance as it flies through the air than it would on the ground during a putt.
Other than this one small change, everything about hitting a putt and using a chipper is exactly the same, and that’s one of the reasons I think people like using a chipper; if you’re a good putter, there’s a great chance you’ll be a good chipper too.
So that’s all there is to it, one small adjustment and a whole lot less to worry about when you’re trying to score around the green. If you want to learn a little more about using a chipper check out the video below, otherwise, I wish you the best of luck as you start practicing with your new chipper!