How to Use the Putter Chipper Golf Club
A putter chipper – commonly known as just a “chipper” – has a putter-like club head that’s lofted approximately 30 to 37 degrees, about the same as a 7- or 8-iron. The club does what the name suggests: It allows you to hit a chip shot while employing a putting stroke. Tim Reed of Adams Golf told Golf.com that a chipper can be used "to tackle an array of greenside shots."
LPGA legend Nancy Lopez says the chipper is for golfers who "don't want to pick out a wedge or something that has a little bit more loft to it. ... So it's a club that's probably more comfortable for them."
Observe the ground between your ball and the green. If there is any obstruction, such as the edge of a bunker, be certain you can clear it using the chipper. If in doubt, you may wish to chip or pitch with a more lofted club. Teaching pro Patrick Leahy notes that the chipper is designed to pop the ball over the green's fringe.
Line up your shot as you would a long putt, advises Lopez.
Read the green’s slope and determine which way the ball will break as it rolls toward the hole. As Leahy points out, the ball will be in the air only briefly and will roll most of the way.
Take your normal putting stroke, Leahy says, hitting the ball hard enough so it pops over the fringe and lands on the green.
Reed advises golfers to swing the chipper like a putter. You may have to hit the ball with slightly less force than you would use on a putt of a comparable distance. When the ball is in the air it encounters less friction than a ball that remains on the ground all the way to the hole. Therefore, all else being equal, a shot with the chipper will likely travel a bit farther than a putt.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.