Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

It’s inevitable that from time to time, we’re going to miss greens and find ourselves in a number of different situations. But, which club should you be using to chip with around the greens?

There are many different ways to approach shots from around the green. You have to assess the lie, the undulations and read which way the ball will move once it’s on the putting surface. 

If you’ve been watching the US Open at Pinehurst, you’ll have seen plenty variety in club choice for shots around the greens. While we might not all be playing on some of Donald Ross’s extreme putting surfaces, it’s interesting to watch and see how the best navigate it.

If you’re on a tight lie and have a slope in front of you to get up, you might be inclined to reach straight for the lob wedge. That might work for some, but if you get it wrong, then you can look foolish. If you’ve got a wedge with too much or not enough bounce, then you can get it all wrong. So, what club should you be using around the greens?

A lot of pros have experimented with a variety of different shots around the greens at Pinehurst. Collin Morikawa has been seen using a 3-wood off the side of the green which may seem a bit odd, but it helps to pop the ball up from the clubface and get it running on the green, which can be great if you’re a long way from the hole.

Tiger Woods practising using a long iron to chip with at the US Open on the 18th. (Credit: Getty)

Tiger Woods said “ The amount of little shots, with run-offs even using wedges, long irons, woods or even putter, there are so many shots.” He won’t be the only one who has a variety of shots in the bag when it comes to getting up and down more often.

Bryson DeChambeau is another who placed a great emphasis on getting reps in around the greens, but he employs a more familiar strategy when it comes to club choice. 

• How many wedges should you have in your golf bag?

• The best spiked golf shoes new to the market

“I’m not Tiger Woods,” the former US Open champ said. “I’m not using 4-irons to chip with, but I’ll use a 55 or 60 degree, turn the face down, put the toe in the ground, so I’m just skimming across the grass.” 

Which club should you use around the greens?

At Pinehurst, that’s a difficult question to answer, but for us amateurs, there is data which can help us make our decision.

Shot Scope, leaders in GPS technology, track stats from their users, and it gives a fascinating insight into club choice around the greens.

Let’s take a mid-handicapper, a 15 index player in this case, and see what the stats say.

For them, the most prudent play is a club we haven’t really mentioned yet, the putter.

From short game situations, where the ball is off the green, 15 handicappers get up and down with the putter 71%. That number drops dramatically to 21% with the lob wedge.

Now, of course, that number is slightly skewed, as you’re never going to take a putter from thick rough if there’s a bunker in your line, but it demonstrates that when you can get the putter in your hands, it’s the sensible, but wise play.

Just ask Martin Kaymer, the last man to win at Pinehurst, who famously relied on the flatstick from all around the greens in his US Open win.

While you’re here, why don’t you subscribe to our YouTube channel? We do gear reviews, comparisons and even lessons on how to tie golf shoes.

author headshot

James Tait is bunkered’s Gear Editor. Want to know how the latest Callaway driver, Vokey wedge or Scotty Cameron putter performs? He’s the guy to ask. Better yet, just watch his videos on the bunkered YouTube channel. One of the biggest hitters in the UK, James also competes on the World Long Drive circuit and is a descendent of former Amateur champion Freddie Tait.

Gear Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses