I know what you’re thinking but don’t laugh. The Ping ChipR could be the secret to unlocking lower scores in your club competitions…
I’ve bought a chipper. You can stop smirking now. I’m serious.
I’ve had the Ping ChipR for eight rounds and I’ve already chipped in more times than I’ve managed in the last five years. That’s three times for anyone who’s interested.
I’m convinced this could be a secret weapon for every club player who just wants to say the words ‘up and down’ more often.
And I’m sure it’s going to help me win a big club competition in 2024. Is this the desperate urging of an eternal optimist? Let’s take a look at it and you can make up your own minds.
First, some background. I’m a former single figure player who is hovering around 11 on the WHS index. I’m an average length hitter, even at 46, and I’m an OK putter.
I’m in and around par 4 greens in two shots. But where my potential pars frequently turn into bogeys is around those greens.
I just don’t chip well enough. From 30 yards and in, I need to get better. Just take lessons, I hear you cry! I’m doing it, but it’s going to take a bit more than proper technique to get me comfortable with a tight lie and a lofted wedge.
I used to mask this by hitting low running chip and runs into greens. Seven, eight, 9-iron, I’ve tried them all. When they work, it’s excellent.
But chunk one, or just as calamitous, hit it a bit firmly out of the centre of the clubface, and I might be right back where I started.
So I took a chance on the Ping ChipR – a club that doesn’t look anything like the huge-faced, massive back monstrosities we’ve seen from chippers in the past.
You’ll need to take a leap of faith with me if you go down this route because it’s going to hit you a little in the pocket. At £149, for what is a limited utility club which will probably require you to shed one of your wedges, you’re going to need convincing it might work for your game.
The waiting list, though, to get one – see if you can get it before the end of January with some retailers – will tell you there is a bit of a buzz.
Here’s why. If you use the correct technique, I’ve found it nearly impossible to chunk or mishit this club.
Ping ChipR: Why does it work for me?
While it might look like a 9-iron, if you try and swing it like one you’re not going to get great results. Even though the loft is around 38.5 degrees, this club is almost horizontal it’s so upright. It’s got a lie angle of 70 degrees and bounce of just eight.
It’s 35 inches, with a long grip, which should allow you to find a comfortable spot. It’s reasonably heavy too around the clubface, which gives me even more confidence that I’m going to get a solid contact and glide through the ball.
You use it like a putter, producing the same pendulum swing, and send it on its way – bumping and shifting onto the putting surface.
It’s featured to be at its best from 40 yards and in but I’ve managed to launch this pretty high from 75 yards and still find a green.
If you’re after backspin, though, stick to a wedge. This club is designed to go forwards and I’ve not managed to get much check from it.
That makes it very useful if you want to play a bump and run which, frankly, most of us should probably try and do a bit more of.
But where this club is dynamite is from greenside semi-rough. Its cambered sole, moulded like an iron, cuts through longer grass and gets the ball moving. The shot that gives me the most nightmares on the course is neutered with one stroke.
I’ve experienced a few chuckles from playing partners when I’ve produced this on the course. Those grins weren’t as wide when I started stiffing chip shots and, even better, began to hole them.
The proof of the pudding will come, of course, when a scorecard is on the line, but I can already see some considerable improvement in my play around the greens.
If, like me, you struggle a little for confidence with your wedges in and around the dancefloor then you might see some serious results with the Ping ChipR.
It won’t be for everyone but, if you’re hitting it fat and thin with a wedge, this might just be one of the best clubs ever made for the average golfer.
So chortle away if you wish, I’ll happily have the last laugh.
Now have your say
Do own a Ping ChipR? Has it had positive effects on your game? Why not let me know all about it by leaving a comment on X.