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We all know what it’s like to not feel confident with the wedges. It’s one of the easiest ways to put up some pretty high numbers, and because of this, chipper clubs have become pretty popular. Today, we’ll be comparing a number of different models and trying to find which one is king.
Here are the best golf chippers:
- Ping ChipR (best chipper overall)
- Odyssey X-Act (Ping ChipR alternative)
- Wilson Harmonized (budget option)
- Mazel Wedge (not recommended)
- Ping ChipO (old and outdated)
Key Takeaways: If price is no issue, the Ping ChipR is the best option by far and that is why it’s one of the best wedges for average golfers. It wasn’t quite as good as the putter within 10 yards, but from all distances, it was more consistent than any other chipper we tested.
Our Testing Process: Our goal is to help you find the right product. We spend a lot of time testing products so you don’t have to. Learn more about how we test.
The Clubs We Tested
Even Tiger Woods has occasionally struggled with chip shots. There’s no shame in it, if one of the world’s greatest golfers has had wedge shot woes. Most of us though don’t have access to the world’s best coaches and the ability to spend hours around a practice green.
That’s why chippers have become so popular among mid and high-handicappers. And even a few professionals. But which club is the champion of the chippers?
I’ve owned four of them over the past two years and I’ve used them extensively, comparing them against my wedges and also 8 and 9 irons. Included in the four is the new Ping ChipR … and I also managed to get hold of a Ping ChipO from the 1970s for a five-chipper challenge.
The first one I owned was a Wilson Harmonized chipper. I loved that club. It really helped me get close to the flag from up to 50 yards out, as long as I had no obstacles – bunkers or water – to get over.
Sadly, after a year of (extensive!) use, the head fell off! That was mid-shot and highly embarrassing! It was beyond repair. I will say though that the new Wilson chippers look much more sturdy than their predecessor.
So I then tried the Odyssey X-Act (pronounced Exact), which I kept for more than a year but just couldn’t get on with – or so I thought. That’s not to say of course that the club wouldn’t work for you.
It’s a brilliant design and is incredibly well made, as you’d expect from Odyssey. It just didn’t work for me. I found it harder to judge distances, especially from a longer range. We’ll look at some test results in a minute.
The grip – which is designed to keep your hands and wrists quiet – looks like a putter grip to my untrained eye. USGA rules state that you can’t use a putter grip on any club other than – a putter.
However, I spoke to Odyssey – which is part of Callaway Golf. Callaway’s PGA professional, Kevin Conlong, told me: “Regarding the grip, this is a round grip and not a putter grip.”
That’s great news and worth knowing if you’re in a competition and one of your opponents says: “That’s not legal because it’s got a putter grip.” You can assure them that it absolutely is legal! And better still, hopefully, you’ll hole a couple of shots from around the green just to rub it in.
For me though, after months of struggling with that club, I saw videos for the Square Strike wedges. I did some research and many reviewers said Mazel wedges were very similar but much cheaper. I opted for the Mazel with 45 degrees of loft and used it a lot. But again, it just didn’t work for me.
Then Ping announced they were bringing out a chipper! Is this the game changer I’ve been looking for, to stop me from being a chipping chump? Will it match the success I had with that Wilson Harmonized chipper of two years ago?
Quality Of The Clubs
All clubs are well made but the Ping and the Odyssey feel like premium products. They should do because they’re more expensive, but they will last you for years and years.
Having said that, neither comes with a head cover, whereas the Mazel does. And because of the size of the heads, particularly the Odyssey, I think you need a cover to stop damage to your other clubs.
But let’s not get into the debate about head covers for irons and wedges!
Top 3 Chippers Put To The Test
I still owned the X-Act and Mazel so I thought I’d put them to the test. On a bright sunny day in the UK, I headed to the practice ground at my club for the ultimate challenge: which is the champion chipper?
I hit balls from 10 yards, 15 yards, 20 yards and 30 yards to the flag – with no obstacles in the way.
But first, let’s look at some specifications:
|Odyssey X-Act Tank||Specifications|
|Cost: £99/$129.99||Urethane insert – giving “ultimate feel and control.”|
|35.5 inches long.|
|Oversized non-taper extra-long grip|
|Cost: £95/$85.99||Milled face – rather than cast or urethane.|
|35 inches long|
|Lofts of 35, 45, 55 and 60 degrees.|
|“High-performance” rubber grip.|
|Cost: £149/$179||Milled face|
|35 inches long (but can be custom-fitted)|
|Cambered sole designed for smooth contact with ground and grass|
Those are the specifications, but what’s most important is how they perform.
It’s worth noting first that this is how they performed for me. Chipping is what I find the hardest on the course. I’ve worked hard on that side of my game but I can’t chip as well as I can use longer clubs and my putter.
I’d rather be 100 yards out than 30. Any shot that needs a shorter or less powerful swing seems to faze me. I think this is probably the case for a bunch of weekend hackers.
That said, you might feel a bit different after using them. Therefore, which club works best for me might not be best for you. My advice would be to try them if you’re struggling with chipping and need help.
10 Yards Out
|10-YARD CHALLENGE||Near flag|
|Odyssey X-Act||5/10 within a putter length|
|Mazel Wedge||None within a putter length|
|Ping ChipR||7/10 within a putter length|
Well firstly, from 10 yards to the flag, none of them worked as well as my putter. From such a short distance, and with no obstacles to get over, I’d use that every time!
And the results with my putter were what I’d expected. In testing, using ten balls, one went in the hole and the other nine were all within a putter length of the hole. I did that test again and all 10 were within a putter length.
The Ping ChipR was the next best performer – seven out of 10 went within a putter length of the flag. The other three were fairly close.
The X-Act was the next-best performer with five within a putter length and the rest were also close.
It’s almost best not to talk about my results with the Mazel. Not one went near the flag. I’ve written the word “awful” in my notes. I mean – I was awful, not the club!
Again, you may have a totally different result here. I opted for the 45-degree loft with the Mazel and that is just too much for me for such a short shot. I can’t generate enough speed to get the ball in the air from that distance. So why not just use … a putter. A 35-degree Mazel may have been better for me.
15 Yards Out
|15-YARD CHALLENGE||On the green||Near flag|
|Odyssey X-Act||20 out of 20||4 within a putter length|
|Mazel Wedge||20 out of 20||6 within a putter length|
|Ping ChipR||20 out of 20||5 within a putter length|
From 15 yards, over some rough terrain but from a tight lie with very short grass, I decided the putter wouldn’t work. I used 20 balls with this test.
With the X-Act, all 20 got onto the green (you’d hope so from such a short range but I can miss even from there!). Two of the balls hit the flag – and I do think the lining-up system on the X-Act is excellent. Only four ended up within a putter length of the pin though.
The Mazel performed better for me from this distance than from 10 yards. All 20 balls were on the green and six were within a putter length of the flag, giving me a good chance of getting “up and down.”
The Ping ChipR was very similar – all 20 on the green and five within a putter length.
But 15 yards shouldn’t be too difficult. So let’s get a bit further out and see how the clubs performed. I had a good lie from 20 yards out – ie with a lot of grass under the ball.
20 Yards Out
|20-YARD CHALLENGE||On the green||Near flag||In the hole|
|Odyssey X-Act||18 out of 20||4 within a putter length||None|
|Mazel Wedge||17 out of 20||None within a putter length||One in the hole!|
|Ping ChipR||20 out of 20||4 within a putter length||None|
For me, the Ping wins it here. I’m confident that I can two-putt most of the time if I can just get the ball anywhere on the dance floor. So that is the most important thing for me. And the Ping gets 100 percent here. I tested the Ping twice just to see if the first was luck. The second time, all 20 also got on the green.
The X-Act did really well – much better than I thought it would.
Despite the hole-in-one with the Mazel, it just didn’t work for me. And that is pretty much what happened with it during 18 holes of golf.
But let’s make this harder. Let’s move out to 30 yards. Again from a good lie.
30 Yards Out
|30-YARD CHALLENGE||On the green||Near flag||In the hole|
|Odyssey X-Act||13 out of 20||None||None|
|Mazel Wedge||12 out of 20||1 within a putter length||One in the hole!|
|Ping ChipR||20 out 20||2 within a putter length||None|
With the X-Act, I wrote in my notes: “It felt hard to generate enough power to get that far which led to inconsistent strikes.”
Again, this club may work really well for you, so try it out. But for me, it didn’t work as well as I’d liked. I had another hole-in-one with the Mazel but too many missed the green.
The Ping though – wow!
Again I redid that test because it started to rain when I first got the Ping out of my bag (well this is the UK). The results were the same in the second test – all 20 on the green.
I’d hate to count the times I’ve been 30 yards from a green off the tee on a par 4 and walked off with a 6! Getting down in three shots from there is what I want and I feel the Ping will help me do that. Yes with the Mazel, I might have an eagle occasionally, based on these results. But I’d miss eight greens out of 20 too.
The Best Golf Chipper
For me here, the Ping ChipR is the clear winner. And off the back of this test, the Odyssey and the Mazel went onto eBay a few days later and the Ping has stayed in my bag.
I got the Mazel in a sale and made £10 profit on it. I lost £10 on the Odyssey, after a year of use, but had a huge amount of interest in the club. It’s very clear that these clubs are hugely popular and sought-after. So if you do want to buy several to try, hopefully, you wouldn’t lose too much money.
Despite holing out those two shots with the Mazel, the Odyssey would have been my second choice and I might have kept it were it not for the Ping ChipR. The Odyssey certainly works really well for me within 20 yards but the Ping is more consistent and better – for me – from further out.
If you struggle with alignment, then the Odyssey is possibly the best club for you because its “Marxman Alignment System” is excellent. That’s not the problem I have with chipping so it’s less valuable to me.
Also, because of the wide sole of the club, it’s almost impossible to fat a shot – ie dig into the turf before you hit the ball. That may be of huge benefit to some people too.
Ping ChipR vs Ping ChipO
And finally, as promised, let’s see how the Ping ChipO from the 1970s performed against the new Ping ChipR. You probably can’t buy one, but I thought it’d be interesting to compare them.
I asked Ping if they had a ChipO that I could borrow for the testing. Well if you don’t ask, you don’t get. They said they only had one at Ping Europe and that was for display purposes only.
By chance though, I was chatting to a guy at my club about this article and he said: “I’ve got a Ping ChipO and you’re welcome to borrow it.” So I used the ChipO against the ChipR for a few weeks.
I realized afterwards that I’d had 15 clubs in my bag, instead of the 14 that you’re allowed in the rules. Thankfully, I didn’t play in any competitions at that time. Phew!
Jolly hockey sticks
Anyway, I didn’t like the ChipO overly. It felt like a hockey stick, rather than a golf club. The loft is 28.5 degrees which meant I really struggled to get the ball off the ground at times. And that’s the issue I have with chipping – getting the ball airborne.
There was no real comparison, in my view, with the ChipR, which has another 10 degrees of loft and a much heavier head. That makes the ChipR much easier to use – for judging distances and getting the ball off the ground.
I wasn’t sorry when I handed it back to my golf club buddy.
Remember, every single ball with the ChipR went on the green, from all distances I tried. But let’s look at the ChipO’s numbers:
|Ping ChipO||On the green||Near the flag||In the hole|
|15 yards||19 out of 20||4 within a putter length||None|
|20 yards||19 out of 20||6 within a putter length||None|
|30 yards||12 out of 20||None||None|
From 15 yards, one ball was short of the green. From 20 yards, one overran. And from 30 yards, six were short, and one overran. It just wasn’t consistent enough.
Unlike the ChipR, I really struggled to judge distances, which is reflected in those results. Also, very few got off the deck. But it was a fun test, nonetheless, and the results from 20 yards or less weren’t too bad.
So, in summary, after testing five chippers, the Ping ChipR is the club I’m most happy with. It hasn’t cured my chipping issues, but I’m more confident with it than I’ve been with any other chipper.
At times, I will still reach for my sand wedge or 9 iron ahead of it though. If you’re curious to know more, check out our article on what club to chip with around the green.
Whether or not I’ll be keeping it long-term is hard to say. But I like it and it’s a good go-to club, especially on days when your confidence around the green is low.
Of course, what works for you may be totally different. Therefore, I would repeat my advice – try out a few of these clubs. If you can afford to buy a few and test them out over several weeks, even better!
Personally, I’d start with the Ping and the Odyssey and compare. But if money is tight, Wilson might be worth a shot. You can also check out our article on the best wedges for average golfers to see some solid alternatives. Good luck!
Note. This article is part of our series on the different types of wedges and when to use them. If you’d like to know about the key differences and what you should be using, be sure to check that out.
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