Steps to Choosing the Right Short Game Golf Club: Chipper vs. Wedge

September 14, 2023 — by Richard Dawson

Successful short game shots can make or break a round on the golf course. When you find yourself just off the green, faced with delicate shots that demand precision and finesse, the choice between a chipper and a wedge takes centre stage. Deciding which club to reach for can be challenging, as both options offer unique advantages. That’s where we come in – to guide you through the process with essential steps that will empower you to make an informed decision.

In this guide, we’ll break down the intricacies of each club, ensuring that you’re equipped to enhance your overall performance on the course. So, keep reading to find out how to master those critical short game shots and take your golf game to new heights.

Assess Your Short Game Needs

golf chipper

Assessing your short game needs is the primary step in the process of selecting the right golf club, be it a chipper or a wedge, for those crucial shots around the green. Your short game needs reflect your playing style, skill level, and the types of shots you regularly encounter on the golf course.

For example, you can buy quality golf chippers for precision and control on bump-and-run shots, ensuring you can confidently navigate tricky lies and maintain consistency in your short game. Or opt for wedges for versatility and adaptability in a range of short game situations, which will enable you to tackle chips, pitches, and bunker shots with finesse and confidence.

You also need to evaluate your personal strengths and weaknesses in the short game. Are you more comfortable with a putting-style stroke, or do you have a solid pitching or chipping technique? Your proficiency in various short game shots will influence the club which complements your skills.

Additionally, think about your long-term goals as a golfer. Are you looking to refine your short game for consistency, or are you seeking to develop a more comprehensive array of skills to handle diverse course conditions? This consideration will help you select a club that aligns with your growth objectives.

Understand Club Features

Understanding the key features of a chipper and a wedge is essential when deciding which club to use in your golf game as both clubs serve distinct purposes. Chipper features a putter-like design with moderate loft, which makes it suitable for bump-and-run shots and lower trajectory chips. In contrast, wedges come in various lofts, grinds, and bounce angles, enabling golfers to tackle a wide range of short game situations, from high-lofted shots to bunker plays.

By comprehending these club features, you can match them with the specific demands of your shots. This knowledge allows you to make informed decisions on the course, ensuring that you choose the right club for the job and increasing your chances of executing successful short game shots with precision and consistency.

Consider Loft Requirements

Assessing the amount of loft required for the shots you encounter is a critical step in choosing between a chipper and a wedge in your golf game. It ensures that you match the club’s characteristics with the specific demands of your shots, promoting better shot outcomes.

If you need to get the ball higher in the air to clear obstacles or stop quickly, a wedge with higher loft options (such as a sand wedge or lob wedge) might be preferable. On the other hand, if you’re looking for lower trajectory shots with more roll, a chipper or a lower lofted wedge could be a better choice.

Evaluate Versatility

golf chipper and ball

To evaluate versatility, consider the club’s capability to handle a wide range of shots. By performing this type of assessment, you ensure it aligns with your short game needs and can perform well across various conditions and shots.

In the case of wedges, like sand wedges or gap wedges, their various lofts allow you to tackle different short game scenarios, from high, soft-landing shots to chips and bunker plays. Alternatively, a golf chipper is designed for specific types of shots, usually bump-and-run or lower trajectory chips.

Test Both Clubs

Testing both clubs is a crucial step in choosing the right one for your golf game. It will allow you to gain valuable insights into which club suits your playing style and provide the confidence needed to execute short game shots effectively when you encounter them on the course.

Take these clubs to the practice green or during a round of golf to see how they perform in real conditions. Experiment with different lies, distances, and shot scenarios. Assess how comfortable you feel with each club in your hands and how well you can control the outcome of your shots.

Consider Comfort and Confidence

When it comes to selecting the right golf club, one of the critical but often overlooked factors is considering your personal comfort and confidence with the club. It’s more than just the technical specifications, it’s about how the club feels in your hands and how much trust you have in its performance.

A club that makes you confident can really help you on the golf course, especially for short shots. Pay attention to how each club feels during practice swings and shots and go with your gut.

How Far Can You Hit with a Chipper?

man playing golf

A chipper golf club is primarily designed for shorter shots with a focus on control and precision around the green. The distance you can hit with a chipper can vary significantly based on factors like your technique, the specific chipper model, and the conditions of the course.

Generally, chipper shots have a lower trajectory and are intended for bump-and-run or soft-flop shots. In these scenarios, distances may vary from just a few feet for delicate touch shots to around 30-40 yards for longer bump-and-run shots. The purpose of this club is not about hitting for maximum distance but about ensuring accuracy and getting the ball close to the hole with a controlled stroke.


In the pursuit of selecting the perfect short game golf club, remember that the key lies in a thoughtful process. By assessing your specific needs, understanding club features, and considering comfort and confidence, you’ll be well-equipped to make the right choice between a chipper and a wedge.

Ultimately, your decision will impact your short game precision, consistency, and overall golf performance. So, embrace these steps, and you’ll find the ideal club that complements your game and helps you master those critical shots around the green.