Can You Use A Wedge On The Green In Golf?
Been left in a tricky situation on the green where the position of the pin and the shape of the green means you can’t putt toward the hole? Maybe you’ve though about chipping the ball but weren’t sure if it’s allowed. Let’s take a look…
Are Golfers Allowed to Chip on The Green?
Chipping on the green is usually frowned upon – particularly by the greenkeepers who work hard to prepare the putting surfaces but there is nothing in the Rules of Golf to prohibit you from using your wedge.
Chipping on the green can be done to avoid hazards, get onto the green or even when you are faced with an extremely long putt.
Although chipping from the green is frowned upon by many players, some pros take advantage of this technique when needed. Ultimately it’s up to each golfer whether they want to attempt chipping on the green or play it safe by putting with their next stroke.
Why Would A Player Want To Chip On The Green?
Players usually start thinking about chipping off the green when they have left themselves in an awkward situation. The location of your ball relative to the flag might mean it’s impossible for you to use a putter and get anywhere near the hole. If you want to get down in two then you’re going to have to hit a chip.
I was left in just such a situation only the other day. The green was shaped a little like an hourglass with large mounds pinching in. The flag was back left and my golf ball was front left so there was absolutely no chance of finishing anywhere near the hole using a putter. Since this was just a practice round I decided to move the ball off the green so I could chip without removing a divot from the putting surface and incurring the wrath of the green staff.
Will Your Golf Club Allow It?
The rules of golf dictate that a golfer is allowed to use any club they like on the putting green. Commonsense and courtesy dictate that in almost all situations the best option is to use a putter on the green.
Clubs may have local rules regarding what shot you can play from the green. Usually, if you finish on the green of another hole you would take a free drop to avoid damaging the putting surface.
Some golf courses might have holes where this situation can occur on a very regular basis. A par three with a bunker in the middle of the green perhaps. In this situation, the club might decide to make a local rule forbidding players from chipping on that specific green in an effort to avoid ruining the surface.
Can Professionals Chip On A Green?
The same rules apply to PGA tour players as amateurs. However, their skill levels are so much higher that they are less likely to damage the turf if they decide they are going to chip the ball. Gary Woodland famously had to chip on the 71st hole during his US Open win. Phil Mickelson has pitched the ball on the green several times during his career. The big difference of course is these guys are playing for the biggest prizes in the sport not just in the monthly medal! It’s also fair to say they are less likely to bury the leading edge of their sand wedge in the green than a typical 18 handicapper.
Should You Chip On The Green?
In my opinion, I can’t think of a good reason why an amateur golfer may play a chip shot from the green. The stakes are never really going to be high enough to justify the potential damage that you are likely to cause.
Remember the old adage that your worst putt is likely to be better than your best chip. Most players’ short games probably aren’t good enough to justify using any club other than putter to get the ball closer to the hole.
One of the core tenets of golf is “play the ball as it lies”. Given that you put yourself in this situation shouldn’t you just suck it up and use your putter!
Is Chipping Or Putting Easier?
I don’t think there’s any question that putting is far easier than chipping in almost every situation. Putting is much less dependent on the quality of strike and is a much simpler motion. It’s very easy to blade a wedge over the green or to hit it fat. While you may not always hit every putt from the sweet spot your margin of error is much wider when using a putter on the putting green.
What Is a Texas Wedge?
A Texas Wedge is a golfing technique used to get the ball close to the hole from off the green and it doesn’t involve a wedge at all! If you are using a Texas wedge then it just means you are putting from the fringe or further off the green. The name derives from the fact that players in the state of Texas tend to suffer stronger winds than most so prefer to keep the ball on the ground as much as possible.
Generally speaking it’s a lot easier to get putt the ball close than it is to chip. Most amateur golfers will get the ball closer with a putter than with any other club.
Can You Use A Wedge On The Green In Golf: Summary
So you can use your wedges from the green but unless you have the short game of the tour pro may be you should use your putter instead!