I know what you are thinking right now. And you may have a point, but hear me out. It won’t disappoint you.
When I lived in England, I unfortunately haven’t had much time to play golf. But when I did with locals, in 100% of the occasions, there was at least one player in the group using a chipper without hesitation.
Back home in Germany I never encountered anybody using this sort of club and honestly never had one in my hand myself. This changed a couple of weeks ago when I decided to give this thing a try. All the English people can’t be so wrong about it — when it’s helpful and useful, then it’s a reason to put in the bag.
So what I did, I purchased the top level chipper online as no local golf shop had one to show, nor to buy. Hence online I went and screened the very narrow offer of chippers out there. And this is how it went.
I bought the Odyssey X-act tank and to be honest, I’m not even sure they are still producing it. At least I couldn’t find any trace of information on their website. Either they cover it up with some fancy shiny putters or they actually don’t have these anymore.
But I had mine in my hands, that was all that mattered.
After some basic chipping practice in my backyard and some sort of instructional video, I made my way to the golf course to give it a proper test on the chipping green. And what can I tell you: I immediately loved it!
It’s a feeling that’s hard to understand. First you need to know this about chippers in the first place:
They are there to help with your short game. If you struggle around the green, and this could of course have several reasons, a chipper might help you with most.
A chipper, this at least, has a 37° loft which is the equivalent to a 7- or 8-iron. The intended ball “flight” is getting the ball airborne from whatever lie and then lets it roll out towards the hole. It’s the bump and run heaven so to say. And that’s because of various reasons:
- The 37° is a great bump and run loft.
- The shaft is rather short, so you stand close to the ball.
- Due to the closer stand, you address the ball, and actually strike the ball as if it was a putting stroke.
- To complement the putting feel, a chipper features a putter grip and you could use your putting stroke grip if you wish.
- The club head is big and heavy, the sole is wide, so it glides through every surface easily and gets the ball in the air without effort.
- The distance control is super easy to assess.
To cut a long story short, I am very happy with my purchase and can’t wait to see that it saves me some stokes throughout the coming rounds. Here a duffed chip less, there a better approach for a tap-in par, all in all some great things laying ahead of me I hope.
One thing to consider of course, it’s another club in your bag which is not as versatile as a wedge. You don’t do full shots with that club, and I guess the Odyssey White Hot Insert in the chippers face will thank you for that.
So which club to leave out instead? That’s not easy to answer and totally depends on your game and maybe even the course you’re playing. I have a 2- and 3-iron in the bag and when I play without any woods (which happened a lot in the past years), and even three wedges, there is place for a chipper. If you do play with driver, fairway wood and maybe hybrid, plus three wedges, you could only go so far up to a 4-iron to cater for 14 clubs maximum.
That is everybody’s own decision and boy, it’s not an easy one.
If you’re not yet sold, let me legend Roger Cleveland have it explained for you:
To sum this up a little bit: I went for a chipper to have a good feeling over the ball around the green with the right tool to always pull the correct set of swing. That is really easy here and the club does help you perform more consistently. That is true from the fringe, the rough, semi rough and the fairway in front of the green. Don’t leave the 7-iron at home just because it happens to be the same loft – that’s a complete different battle field.
Do I like my new chipper? Yes!
Would I buy it again? Yes!
Would I recommend it to anybody? No, I wouldn’t.
But it’s here to stay with me on many rounds to come and time will tell how many strokes I’m roughly able to save going forward.
Picture: © golf-monthly.co.uk