7 Golf Chipping Games That Will Improve Your Short Game

We get it – practicing golf can be tedious. It is important to work on your short game, but spending hours on the practice green gets boring.

Chipping games are the answer. Develop your short game while having fun, competing against friends, and making a friendly wager.

The best thing about chipping games is that you learn without trying. You develop new skills while having a good time.

The next time you have an hour to work on your game, invite a group of your buddies to the course and challenge them to some chipping games.

You can talk some trash, laugh at your friends, have a couple of drinks, and leave the course with new skills.

Sounds good, right? Keep reading and let us know which of our chipping games is your favorite.

a golfer playing chipping games.

Chipping Games: How They Can Improve Your Score

Before we start playing games let’s talk about the value to your scorecard.

No one hits the green with every approach shot. If this is true, how do scratch golfers make so many pars?

The answer is simple. They use their short game to get up and down. They save strokes around the green and keep their round going.

Chipping games will help you develop this ability quicker than simply smacking a few shots before you putt.

The difference is that chipping games force you to compete against yourself or others. This added pressure helps you simulate how you will feel on the golf course.

Ideally, you will feel some butterflies in your stomach while trying to beat your buddy. Can you execute a quality chip shot while feeling some nerves?

1-putts are a golfer’s best friend and the easiest way to have more 1-putts is to chip the ball close to the hole.

Enough talk, let’s start playing!

golf balls around a hole.

7 Golf Chipping Games You Should Try Today

1. Up-n-Down Challenge (Par 18)

A simple game that allows you to work on your chipping and your putting at the same time.

The first step is to decide on your “9-hole course” for the game. You can use the same hole multiple times but hit the chips from different locations.

Be creative. Make some of the holes easy and some challenging. Set up different types of chips (bump-n-run, flop, etc.).

The rules are easy. You play your 9-hole course and try to get up and down. Hit the chip and try to make the putt. Every hole is a par 2.

Like all of our chipping games, you can play against a buddy. You can either complete in stroke play or match play.

Can’t find a friend? No problem. Play against par. Can you shoot under par? It is harder than you think.

Play the same “9-hole course” several times and set a “course record”. That becomes your new target and you can continue to try and beat it.

A golfer makes chips towards the green.

2. Darts

This is one of the golf chipping games that takes a few minutes to set up, but once you do, you can play it for hours.

Using golf tees to make three circles around a hole on the putting green. In other words, create a dart board.

Define a point value for each circle. The hole is the “bullseye” and should be worth 25 points. The closest circle is 15 points, the 2nd circle is 10 points, and the 3rd circle is 5 points.

This game works best with at least two players, but you can have as many as you like. Each player gets 3 balls.

Pick a starting location and take turns hitting chips toward the hole (the bullseye). After all of the chips have been hit, add up the points. The player with the most points wins.

It will be easier if different players use different color golf balls. You can either mark your balls after each shot or let them bounce off each other (similar to shuffleboard).

Leaving the balls on the green adds some excitement. Hit your first chip close to the hole and hope someone else accidentally knocks it in for you!

a sign that reads chipping green.

3. Chip-In Challenge

Is there anything more exciting than chipping in? Why not play a chipping game where that is the only way to win?

The name sort of gives it away. You and your buddy pick a chip and take turns hitting it until someone makes it. The first chip-in wins.

As soon as someone wins pick a new shot. If you pick a hard shot it may take you a while to make it, but it will exhilarating when it finally goes in.

Play with a large group and every player puts in $1 for each shot. The winner takes the pot. A little side bet makes all chipping games more entertaining.

Practice making chips and you will notice you start to make them occasionally when you are playing on the course.

A golfer making chips onto the green from the apron.

4. Dollars On The Green

Most of our chipping games give you the option of making a small wager, but for this one, it is required.

The setup is simple. All players take a few dollars from their wallets and lay them in different spots on the putting green.

Take turns hitting chips. If your ball stops on a dollar, it is yours. Pick it up and put it in your pocket.

You can combine this game with a “Chip In Challenge” by placing dollars in different holes of the practice green.

Add more spice by using different denominations of bills on the green. Stopping your golf ball on a $5 bill might be worth a Tiger Woods fist pump!

A golfer makes a chip over a sand bunker

5. H-O-R-S-E (yes, we stole it From Basketball)

It is fine to steal chipping games from other sports. HORSE was created for basketball, but works quite well on the putting green.

This game works best with two players. Take turns picking a chip and the player that gets closest to the hole gets a letter. The first one to spell “Horse” wins!

Why “horse”? It appears to be as simple as they wanted a 5-letter word and they picked “horse”.

That being said, you can pick any word you want. Do you want your game to last longer? Play “Titleist” or “Callaway“!

Do you want to make it even harder? You can play basketball rules. A player has to make the chip (chip-in) before the other player has to match it.

The problem is that it is much harder to make a chip than to make a jump shot in basketball. If you decide to try this version of the game, we recommend you use a shorter word.

Keep the farm animal theme and play “chip-in P-I-G”. You will squeal with excitement when you earn a letter!

6. 3-Foot Circle + 14 Club Challenge

This might be our favorite of all of the chipping games. It forces you to be creative and will deliver plenty of laughs.

Find a buddy to challenge. Pick a chip and you each hit that chip 14 times. The goal is to leave the most shots within 3 feet of the hole.

Oh yeah, we forget to mention the best part. You have to use every club in your bag! That’s right, you hit one chip with every club.

How well do you chip with your 5-iron? Do you know how to play a bump-n-run driver?

Of course, you would never hit some of these shots during a real round, but this game will show you that there is more than one way to hit any chip.

Far too many golfers make the mistake of always using a wedge to chip when a different club in the bag might work better.

For example, you can use a hybrid or 3-wood around the green instead of a putter. This puts an overspin on the ball and helps the ball roll straight.

Of all the chipping games on our list, this one will help you the most. You will learn that you have options and help you develop a feel around the greens.

Not to mention, it will be hilarious to see your buddy try to chip with their 5-iron!

A golf club next to a ball.

7. Flop Shot Challenge

Is there a more exciting chip than the flop? You swing hard, and the ball goes high and lands softly on the green.

It is a risky shot. If done poorly, you can blade it or shank it. We strongly recommend you practice it before trying it on the course.

This chipping game is simple. Pick a chip around the green and try to get it close to the hole. The only rule is that you have to flop it.

It will work better if you have an obstacle to go over. The Big Break on the Golf Channel played this game using a high wall.

We are guessing you don’t have a wall to use. No problem. Use a bush or a small tree near the putting green.

Be careful with the flop shot challenge. You don’t want to endanger other golfers on the practice green.

We hope you enjoy playing our chipping games. They are a fun way to strengthen your short game!

Up Next: Diversify Your Short Game

Photo of author
Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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