Golf Rules Explained: Can You Chip On The Green?


Golf is a complex sport with even more complicated rules one question you might have asked if you have watched golf on TV or even while you were playing with your buddies. Are you allowed to chip on the green or use any other club at all? Keep reading to find out.

Under the rules of golf, a player can use any club on any shot from any position on the golf course. There is no penalty using a wedge or any club other than the conventionally used putter on the putting green. It is counted as a normal stroke, just like a drive or iron shot.

You could even tee off with a putter without breaking any rules. To see pro golfers chipping on the green and other information rules about chipping off the green and how to improve your chipping please keep reading.

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Why You Can Chip On The Green

Pro Golfers Chip on the Green

There are lots of examples of famous professional players doing this over the years, the most recent instance was during the 2019 US OPEN at Pebble Beach. On the 73rd hole of the Championship and leading by two shots Gary Woodland, who would go on to win the Championship pulled off this difficult to execute shot with perfection.

The highly revered Rivera Country Club in Los Angeles has a famous Par3 4th Hole, which places a bunker in the middle of the green. This means that often the only option for players is to hit a chip on the green in order to get the ball close to the hole. Justin Thomas shows us above just exactly how it should be done!

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Why Would You Chip On The Green?

You might find yourself in a situation where you don’t want to use a putter on the green, you might not be able to putt towards the hole without having to putt it off the green which can be difficult thought f rough and keep your straight putting line. It is easier to chip over awkward areas and land towards the hole and start putting from that spot.

The perfect example is Gary Woodland shot shown above.

Is it a Good Idea to chip off the green?

If you’re a regular handicap amateur or weekend warrior playing at your local club, it’s probably not worth it. It’s a difficult shot to execute and the potential for mishaps and miss-hits are extremely high. There is a good chance you might take a chunk out of the green, which won’t please the greenkeepers and other members.

If you really want to then go ahead, but my advice is to leave it to the Pros.

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If Your Ball Lands On Another Holes Green Can You Still Chip?

Under the GIR (Greens in regulation) which refers to your ball being on the green in a defined number of strokes, your not allowed to the ball of the green under Rule 13.1F of the Rules of Golf you must take a drop with no penalty off the green and hit your next shot.

Why is that? As to achieve a GIR your ball must be on the green in ‘part minus 2 strokes’. For example if your on a par 3 you must hit the green from the tee with your first stroke, and it doesn’t count if you hit another holes green.

The term green in regulation (GIR) refers to your ball being on the green in a defined number of strokes. In

When Are You Not Allowed To Chip From The Green?

There are some clubs that don’t allow players to chip on the Green. In order to enforce this clubs will employ a local rule that is specific to that club only. While not illegal in the Rules of the Game as outlined earlier. Courses take this extra precaution to avoid any unnecessary damage to the greens. It is rare however and should always be posted in the club’s notice board for that day “Local Rules”

For example, the Rivera Country Club posted above par-3 sixth holes has a bunker in the middle of the putting surface, where you might want to chip it over the banker to get closer to the hole. Whilst this is allowed for the PGA tour it is not allowed for the regular members and guests who frequent the course.

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How To Chip Off The Green?

  1. Set up to the ball with a narrow 1 and a half foot stance and point your toes slightly less to a 5-degree angl and ensure your shaft is vertical with the golf ball in the middle of your stance
  2. Imagine there are three points, two points in your torso at the sternum & naval and the last spot being the golf ball. Everything should be in perfect alignment
  3. Don’t drive the ball but hold it nice and soft and start the backswing but let the ball fall with its own weight between the balance points
  4. Practice chipping one-handed and use a whiteboard pen to mark the top of the clubhead to practice brushing the ball against the turf.

In Golf, a big mistake people make is trying to kill the ball by using too much power or they grip the club way too hard. Especially for chipping, we want to let the weight of the clubhead fall down on the follow-through as it’s a shot similar to a putt, we want to finesse the golf ball rather than destroy it.

To help with your chipping there are several things we can do.

Think Of Your Body As Three Points

Imagine your torso has three points (2:32 in the above video) with one spot being your collar bone and the other near your belly button with the last point being the golf ball itself. Whenever you putt or chip all these points have to stay in perfect alignment, otherwise, your stroke will be jerky and inconsistent meaning you will miss the green.

On the course, you will notice players will have ugly jerky swings this is because they do not swing in-plane and therefore hit the golf ball very inconsistently. Keeping your shaft up helps with this alignment but there are drills we can do to help the gravity of the club do the necessary work.

Practice Chipping One-Handed (4:55 In Above Video)

When you start chipping with one hand as you have less power you are forced to train your body to rely on the weight of the club to create the force in a pendulum option, exactly how you should be chipping.

This will be awkward at first, but I guarantee in a short while it will transform your golf game and make your chipping and putting stroke far more consistent. To see how to swing left-handed and the potential benefits in learning check out my article.

Use A Pen To Practice Brushing The Ball

When your ball gets stuck in no grass or a tough lie, you have to feel you are gliding the top of the clubhead through the turf to avoid banging the ground with your club, causing your shot to be too thin or even fat.

For perfect practice use a non-permanent whiteboard marker and scribble the top of your clubhead and practice wiping the ink off by swinging on the turf. Like the one-handed drill that will transform your game and stop you from ever hitting the ball fat. For best results combine both drills and say goodbye to bad chipping and hello to chipping on the green every-time!

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