Should you Chip with a 60 Degree Wedge

When it comes to chipping in golf, club selection is crucial. The choice between a 60-degree wedge and other clubs can significantly impact your ability to execute a successful chip shot. In this article, we’ll explore whether you should chip with a 60-degree wedge and under what circumstances this club choice is ideal.

Rangefinder on Discount

Understanding the 60-Degree Wedge

Before diving into whether you should use a 60-degree wedge for chipping, it’s essential to understand what this club is and how it’s typically used. A 60-degree wedge, also known as a lob wedge, has a high loft, which means the clubface has a steep angle. This loft allows the ball to get into the air quickly and stop abruptly when it lands. It is primarily designed for shots that require a high trajectory and a short distance, making it ideal for situations like bunker shots, flop shots, and certain chipping scenarios.

When to Use a 60-Degree Wedge for Chipping

  1. High Obstacles: One of the most common situations where a 60-degree wedge is the right choice for chipping is when you need to get the ball over an obstacle, such as a bunker, rough, or fringe of the green. The loft of this club allows you to pop the ball up and over these obstacles and land it softly on the green.
  2. Short-sided Pins: If the pin is positioned close to the edge of the green, you may need to carry the ball a short distance and have it stop quickly. A 60-degree wedge excels in this scenario because of its ability to generate a high, soft landing.
  3. Flop Shots: When you’re faced with a situation where you need to hit a flop shot, perhaps because you have little green to work with and need to clear a hazard, a 60-degree wedge is your go-to club. It provides the loft and spin required to execute a high, arcing shot that stops quickly upon landing.
  4. Soft Greens: On soft and receptive greens, a 60-degree wedge can be advantageous for chipping. The loft allows you to control the spin and distance more effectively, ensuring the ball doesn’t roll too far after landing.

When Not to Use a 60-Degree Wedge for Chipping

While a 60-degree wedge is versatile for certain chipping situations, it’s not always the best choice. Here are instances where you might want to consider a different club:

  1. Longer Chips: When you have a longer chip shot, using a 60-degree wedge may result in too much loft, causing the ball to stop abruptly and potentially leading to poor distance control. In these cases, a lower lofted wedge or even a 9-iron might be a better choice.
  2. Firm and Fast Greens: On firm and fast greens, a 60-degree wedge can be challenging to control. The added loft can make it difficult to predict how much roll you’ll get after the ball lands. In such conditions, consider a lower lofted club to help the ball release more predictably.
  3. Tight Lies: When you’re faced with a chip shot from a tight lie, like a bare fairway or hardpan, a 60-degree wedge may not be the best option. The steep angle of the clubface can cause you to skull or thin the shot. Instead, opt for a lower lofted club with less bounce to improve contact.

Chipping Technique with a 60-Degree Wedge

Now that we’ve established when to use a 60-degree wedge for chipping, let’s delve into the technique you should employ when using this club:

  1. Club Selection: Start by selecting the 60-degree wedge when you’re certain it’s the appropriate choice for the shot at hand. Verify the distance, the height you need to clear obstacles, and how much green you have to work with.
  2. Stance and Setup: Position yourself with a narrow stance, feet close together, and the ball positioned slightly ahead of the center of your stance. Place more weight on your front foot, around 60-70%, to encourage a descending strike.
  3. Grip: Use a standard grip for your chip shots. Ensure a light grip pressure to maintain control and feel during the shot.
  4. Ball Position: The ball should be just ahead of the center of your stance. This position promotes a slightly descending strike, helping you make crisp contact with the ball.
  5. Swing Length and Tempo: For most chip shots with a 60-degree wedge, you’ll want a relatively short backswing and a smooth tempo. Focus on controlling the length of your swing to regulate distance. The key here is consistency, so practice to develop a reliable rhythm.
  6. Open Clubface: To generate the loft needed for the shot, open the clubface slightly at address. This means the leading edge of the clubface points to the left of your target (for right-handed golfers). Keep the clubface open throughout the swing and follow-through.
  7. Wrist Hinge: While you don’t want excessive wrist hinge like a full swing, a slight hinge on the backswing can help control the distance and trajectory. Keep your wrists firm but not rigid.
  8. Follow-Through: Focus on a smooth and controlled follow-through. Your weight should shift onto your front foot as you swing through the ball. The clubhead should continue toward the target, and your body should remain relatively still.
  9. Practice: Chipping is all about touch and feel. Spend time practicing various chip shots with your 60-degree wedge to develop a good sense of how the ball reacts to different swings and conditions.

Consider Your Comfort Zone

Ultimately, whether you should chip with a 60-degree wedge or not depends on your comfort and proficiency with the club. Golfers often have their favorite clubs and techniques that suit their style of play. It’s essential to practice and gain experience with different clubs and shots to determine what works best for you in various situations on the course.

Advantages of Chipping with a 60-Degree Wedge

AdvantageDescription
Loft ControlProvides precise control over the ball’s loft for high or low shots.
Spin GenerationProduces ample backspin, helping the ball stop quickly on the green.
VersatilitySuitable for a variety of lies and situations around the green.
Short CarryExcellent for short chip shots with minimal carry distance.
Bunker PlayUseful for escaping greenside bunkers with a high trajectory.

Disadvantages of Chipping with a 60-Degree Wedge

DisadvantageDescription
Limited DistanceNot ideal for longer chip shots, as it tends to go too high.
Risk of SkullingRequires precision to avoid skulling (hitting the ball too high).
Rough ConditionsStruggles in thick rough or deep grass due to excessive loft.
Over-SpinningMay generate too much spin, making the ball roll less on the green.
Learning CurveTakes practice to master the delicate touch required for accuracy.

When to Use a 60-Degree Wedge for Chipping

SituationDescription
Close to the GreenIdeal for shots within 10-15 yards of the green.
High Short-SidedWhen you need to carry an obstacle with little green to work with.
Soft Green ConditionsOn soft greens where the ball won’t roll much.
Need BackspinWhen you want the ball to stop quickly on impact.
Bunker RecoveryFor getting out of greenside bunkers with height.

When Not to Use a 60-Degree Wedge for Chipping

SituationDescription
Long Chip ShotsWhen the chip requires a longer carry distance.
Tight LiesOn tight lies where the clubhead might dig in.
Firm or Fast GreensOn firm, fast greens where spin can be excessive.
Downhill SlopesOn downhill slopes where it’s hard to control loft.
Rough or Deep GrassIn thick rough or deep grass where control is tough.

Alternatives to Chipping with a 60-Degree Wedge

AlternativeDescription
Pitching WedgeOffers a lower trajectory and more roll, suitable for longer chips.
9-IronProvides a middle ground between a chip and a pitch for versatility.
Hybrid ClubUseful for chipping when you need a bump-and-run shot with roll.
PutterFor situations where putting from off the green is a viable option.
Sand WedgeWhen you need moderate loft but not as much as a 60-degree wedge.

Conclusion

In conclusion, using a 60-degree wedge for chipping in golf can be highly effective in specific situations. It excels when you need to clear obstacles, stop the ball quickly, or play flop shots. However, it’s essential to consider the conditions and the distance of your chip when deciding on the right club. Golf is a game of versatility, so having multiple clubs in your chipping arsenal and knowing when to use each one is a key skill that can improve your short game performance.

Should you Chip with a 60 Degree Wedge

Author

    by
  • Grace Kaufman

    Grace Kaufman, our Creative Director and a Golf Course Design Specialist, brings a touch of creativity and visual flair to The Golf Mine. With a keen eye for design and a deep understanding of course layout, she ensures that our content not only informs but also engages and inspires. Grace's innovative approach, combined with her specialization in golf course design, enhances the overall experience for our readers, making our blog more than just words on a screen.

Leave a Comment