Can You Chip on the Green? — (Golf Instructor’s Advice)

Can You Chip on The Green Answered by Golf Instructors at Tell Me More Golf Informational Website

During the 2022 Honda Classic, Brain Gay made a very impressive chip shot on the green which resulted in a hole-out. Because of this and many other similar instances, many have asked us whether or not you are allowed to chip on the green.

In this article, I, the head golf instructor at Tell Me More Golf, will answer this question. I will also explain some other critical rules regarding the greens you need to know. 

Can You Chip on the Green?

In short, yes, you are allowed to chip on the green. However, there might be a difference between the official rules of golf and your local club rules. 

What the USGA and R&A Says 

The governing bodies of golf, the USGA and R&A, have no rules in place preventing you from using any club you’d like on the green. Instead, the question lies in whether or not you should chip on the green.

Local Club Rules

Your golf club can prohibit you from chipping on the green by making it a rule. However, it’s a very rare occurrence for clubs to give you a penalty stroke or similar when doing so. But with that said, it’s an unwritten rule at all golf clubs all over the world, and no matter the situation, it’s definitely frowned upon

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Should You Chip on the Green? 

Generally speaking, you should never use a club other than your putter on the green. This is because there’s a significant risk of you damaging the green, making the golfing experience worse for everybody else. There are some instances, though, where you could chip on the green and see potential benefits

Chipping Over Obstacles 

The only real obstacles on the green should be a severe break or an up or down slope, as long as the green doesn’t have a special shape.

If a break is very hard to read or simply very severe, it can make sense to chip over it. 

Speed Control 

For example, if you have a really long putt that ends with a down slope, there might be a greater probability of you pulling off a good chip than a good putt. But as already mentioned, we don’t recommend any amateur golfer to hit chip shots on the green during a casual round

Rules for Chipping on the Green

Unless your club tells you otherwise, you are allowed to chip on the green.

There are no rules regarding chips on the putting surface, but there is an unwritten one:

You should never chip on the green if you don’t have to or if you don’t have the skill to pull off a divot-less shot. 

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Can You Switch Balls on the Green?

On the putting green, you must finish the hole with the same ball as you started the hole with. So no, you can not switch balls on the green.

The only times you’re allowed to switch golf balls are in between holes or when taking some kind of relief like a drop. However, some clubs may use the one-ball rule, which says that you can only replace your ball with an identical one, but this is pretty uncommon

Rules for Chipping From the Rough Around the Green

There are no specific rules dictating how you can chip from the rough around the green. Instead, you simply need to assess your lie and make an intelligent decision. For example, if you’re in thick rough, you most often need a lot of loft and a steep swing to get a good result. 

What Club Do You Use on the Green?

When you’re on the green, the only club you really ever need to use is a putter. The putter is very consistent and allows you to hit the golf ball without making contact with the putting surface, resulting in no damage to the green. 

Some golfers may sometimes hit chip shots on the green to avoid a break or to get better speed control.

This is legal, but it’s frowned upon and we don’t recommend you to do it unless you feel like you can’t make a decent putt. 

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TellMeMoreGolf.com – Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you use a chipping wedge on the green?

Yes, you can use a chipping wedge on the green. Your golf club might have a local rule in place, but the official golf rules allow you to use a wedge on the green.

However, it’s very frowned upon, and you should avoid using anything but your putter at all times when on the green. 

Can you use any club on a green?

You can use a wedge on the green, as well as any other club you’d like. For example, while completely outrageous, you are allowed to use a driver on the green

There are situations where a club other than your putter, such as a lob wedge, can deliver a better result on the green.

However, we would recommend that you never try it unless it’s an absolute must, as there’s a great risk of you damaging the green and aggravating other players. 

Does it count as a putt if you chip on the green?

Yes, if you chip on the green it counts as a putt. This is the case as all strokes made on the green are considered putts, no matter if you’re using a putter, wedge, or something else

Conclusion: 

In this article, we’ve covered if you can hit chip shots on the green or not. We’ve also answered some other common questions regarding the greens. 
You are allowed to chip on the green, as long as your golf club doesn’t say otherwise. However, you should probably never do it, as there’s little to gain and a significant risk of you severely damaging the green.

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Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
Our golf instructor team brings it all to you, so enjoy!

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