• PING announces the ChipR.
  • The ChipR is designed to help golfers with shots from 40 yards and in.
  • Retail price is $195 (steel) and $210 (graphite).

When major championships roll around, it’s not unusual for golf equipment manufacturers to take advantage of the visibility to release specialty clubs designed to tackle the unique conditions of that specific course. The Open, for example, is where driving irons were born. That said, I’d wager you won’t find a single PING ChipR in play at St Andrews this week.

If I’m wrong (and I kinda hope I am), the chipper will have instant and previously unimaginable credibility.

To be clear, PING is a very serious manufacturer whose name is synonymous with golf club engineering. But, yes, they are releasing a chipper … excuse me … a ChipR.

No, today isn’t April 1 so I’ll give you a moment to take that in.

PING ChipR – The White Belt of Golf Clubs?

Within the golf equipment space, there are agreed-upon taboos. White belts, iron covers—and chippers.

No serious golfer would ever … or would they?

Within the right ensemble, white belts are fire (that’s right, I said it). While I don’t recommend them on the course, iron covers can help protect your clubs during travel and, yeah, for the golfer who struggles mightily around the green, I suspect the ChipR (chipper) can be absolute magic. I also suspect that the percentage of golfers who would benefit from a ChipR is significantly higher than the percentage of golfers daring enough to try one.

Have you ever experienced the chip yips? I’m willing to bet you know somebody who couldn’t hit a 40-yard chip within 10 feet if you gave him 30 tries. What if a single, admittedly odd-ball, club could shave significant strokes around the green? Would you not at least try it?

FYI, 40 and in is the distance provided by PING but if you want to stretch that to 50, go for it. You’re already using a chipper so I say go for it.

PING ChipR Specifications

To be clear, the PING ChipR is a real golf club with actual specifications.

The ChipR is cast from 431 steel. For good measure, it features PING’s hydrophobic Hydropearl 2.0 finish to help maintain spin in wet conditions. It has 38.5 degrees of loft (roughly the same as a 9-iron). The standard length is 35 inches with a standard lie of 70 degrees. The stock shaft is a PING Z-115 wedge shaft but a graphite option (PING ALTA CB Slate) is available. The stock grip is a Dyna-wedge Lite which is three-quarters of an inch longer than a standard grip.

Note the use of “stock” in the above paragraph. All of this is negotiable. Like any other PING club, the ChipR can be built to your specs. If, like me, you have absolutely no idea what your ChipR specs are, PING is more than happy to custom fit you.

Custom fitting for a chipper. Ain’t that something?

Could it Help Your Game?

It’s easy to mock the chipper. I’m having fun here but the reality is that the PING ChipR, unlike white belts, has the potential to help a lot of golfers and, typically, helping golfers means making the game more enjoyable. Speaking as a guy who didn’t have much fun last weekend, that sounds like a good thing.

What’s more, this isn’t a risk that many serious manufacturers are willing to take. Kudos.

Sure, Cleveland has done it (remember the Niblick?). PING has done it before, too. Titleist would not do it. TaylorMade definitely wouldn’t, either, though its sister brand Adams might.

PING ChipR – Something Has To Go

My only struggle with the concept is that to put the PING ChipR in your bag, something has to come out. For me, that’s a tough call. Highest-lofted wedge? Is the ChipR a direct 9-iron replacement? What happens if I take a full swing with it?

Maybe we can convince the USGA to outline a model local rule that allows for a 15th club if that 15th club is a chipper.

Rule changes aside, if you struggle with chip yips, I’m guessing the answer is a lot clearer. Whatever club you’re attempting to chip with but failing miserably—that’s got to go. I’d wager a healthy percentage of golfers who don’t think they struggle around the greens would produce significantly better results with a ChipR. I wonder if I might be one of them.

That’s probably something we should test.

Pricing and Availability

The PING ChipR has an MSRP of $195 steel and $210 graphite.

Pre-sale and fittings start immediately. Full retail availability begins July 28.

For more information, visit PING.com.

*We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.