You wouldn’t be reading this article if you have a good short game. I’d assume that you are reading this because you struggle with chipping around the green. You hit shanks, you hit the ball thin, you chunk chips, you don’t control your distance well, etc. For some reason, when you have a wedge in your hand, your hands are very active and you get tense. You know one way to fix that? Use a chipper instead. Is it sexy? No. Will it allow your chip shots to check up? No. Will it allow you to hit over bunkers? No. Will it result in better contact on chips on a more consistent basis? Yes! Will it make you hit closer to the pin on chip shots? Yes, it just might do that too.
Who would I recommend a chipper to?
- A beginner? Hmm, that’s a tough one. If you want to truly become a better-than-average golfer, you need to learn how to properly hit chip shots with a wedge. You can’t become a great golfer with a chipper, no question about it. You need to learn how to hit pitch and chip shots that fly somewhat high in the air and land softly if oyu want to be good. But, if you just want to stop mishitting chips for the short term, and don’t care too much about playing golf “properly”, then a chipper is great for you.
- A senior? Sorry seniors, I’m going to be honest here. You might have slightly shaky hands now. You might not have the hand-eye coordination that you once had. You might not want to spend the time hitting hundreds and hundreds of chip shots so that you can stay fresh and keep making solid contact. So yes, a chipper is great for most seniors that find chips shots difficult.
- Anyone else? All depends on what your goals are. If you are focused on short term improvement to your scores, have at it. Buy a chipper and save some shots around the greens. If you want to be a good golfer, though, skip the chipper all together. Go out to the practice green instead and work on your chipping with a wedge.
If you have decided that you want a chipper club, then let’s get into the best chipper for you. I’ll go over a few different options, depending on your budget and what you are looking for. All three of these options are solid picks, though.
Cheapest Chipper That I Would Recommend: Intech Golf Approach Two-Way Chipper
This is basically a lofted, blade putter with two sides. Here are some of the biggest benefits off the top of my head of the Intech Two Way Chipper:
- It’s two sided. That means that it is great for lefties (as many chippers only come RH) and you can use both sides of the club if you need to. If you are ever right behind a tree but need to get it out to the fairway, you might need to use the other side of the club and hit it left-handed (for righties). Or if you are right next to a water hazard and need to get out but can’t hit it with your dominant side, this could also come in handy.
- Small, compact design. If you are hitting out of somewhat thick rough, this club won’t get caught up in the grass and lead to a mishit. Other, bulkier chippers would definitely be affected by the taller grass, leading to more mishits. The goal of a chipper is a have more consistent impact, so that would defeat the purpose all together.
- Super easy to hit. With a design just like a putter, you are sure to hit it solid more often than a wedge. It’s got the loft of a 7 iron. Just use your putting technique (the less hands the better) and you will be good to go. The ball will fly in the air for a short time and then roll on the green.
- Super cheap. Compared to the other chippers here, this is the cheapest one. It is definitely the cheapest one that I would recommend. If you go any cheaper than this, you will end up with a very low quality chipper that will break easily.
Hard to argue with those benefits. With it being the least expensive chipper, it’s perfect for a golfer on a budget. Sure you could get a slightly better chipper for more money, but this one will likely do just fine.
Best Value Chipper: Intech Golf EZ Roll Chipper
As you can probably tell, Intech is a great chipper brand. They have multiple high quality chippers on the market. They are target more towards the frugal and cost sensitive golfers. For the money, the Intech EZ Roll Chipper is the best value chipper that you can buy. For a few bucks more than the one listed above, you’ll get slightly more consistent results in my opinion, mainly due to the feel and loft of the club.
Here are some of my thoughts on this club:
- Best value: for the cost, this is the best chipper that you can buy. It is a perfect mix between a cheap one and the best overall one. It should cost under $30 brand new, and will improve your scores greatly if you are currently struggling with chipping.
- Great feel: compared to the cheap one above, the feel of this one will be slightly better. Reviews on average agree with this statement. Comparably, the two way chipper has a harder, rougher feel.
- Better contact due to offset: There is some offset on this chipper, as opposed to the first one. This will result in better contact shots, as your hands will be slightly in front of the ball at impact. This will likely result in some checking up compared to cheaper chippers.
As long as you are only struggling with straight forward chips (not having to go over bunkers or anything), this is a great chipper to get. I’d say it’s the best chipper if you want the best bang for your buck.
Best Overall Golf Chipper: Cleveland Smart Sole 3 Wedge
If you want the best of the best, check out the Cleveland Golf Men’s Smart Sole 3 wedge. It’s the perfect mix between a real wedge and a chipper. If you don’t want a chipper (I completely understand), then you might want to consider this alternative. Here is a simple bullet list of some of the benefits of this wedge:
- Perfect blend of wedge vs chipper: it’s not a wedge, but it’s not a chipper. It’s a perfect in between. Large sole like a traditional chipper, but more loft to get the ball in the air.
- More loft: It’s got a loft like a 9 iron, as opposed to a 7 iron like the two chippers above. This will help you get the ball in the air quicker, in case you need to fly the ball to the green or over a bunker or something like that.
- Better feel and spin: If hit it correctly, this club will result in more feel, feedback, and spin on your chip shots. The ball will check up more and feel better at impact compared to chippers.
- Brand recognition: Cleveland is the best wedge brand in golf. You might disagree, but Cleveland is at LEAST in the top two wedge brands hands down. They have made wedges for decades, and they started off in the wedge industry. They know that many golfers struggle with chip shots, so this model is targeted to those golfers to make the game as easy as possible.