Hitting a great chip shot can really change your round. When the irons aren’t on, and each time you try to hit a green, you end up short or to the left or the right, the chip can save the day.

One of the great things about chipping is that you can adjust your chip shots to work well for your game, your clubs, and your style.

image of rule of 12 golf chipping - AEC InfoGolfers are always looking for ways to help get a better feel and control around the green. One way to do that is using the rule of 12 in golf chipping. If you have heard of the rule of 12 but have never seen it in action, we have some advice and help that can get you on the right track.

The Rule of 12 in golf chipping

The rule of 12 is a golf chipping technique that explains the exact relationship between the loft on a golf club and the amount of roll you will get on a chip shot. We use 12 yards as the total distance we want the ball to carry on the chip.

Chip shots with lower lofted golf clubs stay in the air for a short period of time and then roll to the hole. Chip shots with higher lofted clubs fly higher and roll just a few feet.


The rule of 12 lets players understand the concept that when you hit a chip shot with a lower lofted club, the ball is going to roll further than it flies. This is an important concept to keep in mind because chipping will change considerably from one golf club to the next.

The Rule of 12 in golf chipping is not a new concept; in fact, this has been around for several years. However, it does tend to be something that works a bit better for beginners than the mid-to-low handicap player.

There is quite a bit of feeling involved in the game of golf, and sometimes these numbers are not always exact. However, as a beginner player, the Rule of 12 can help you understand a bit more about how the golf ball is going to perform coming off of your club face.

How Does The Rule of 12 Work For Each Individual Club?

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To better explain the Rule of 12 in golf chipping, we need to take three clubs that you could use for a potential chip shot around the green. The three clubs are the 6 iron, 8 iron, and pitching wedge.

Of course, you will chip with your sand wedge at times, but this gives us some really nice even numbers to better understand the concept.

6 Iron

A 6-iron will have quite a bit less loft than other golf clubs that you would typically use in the short game. For all of these examples, we are going to consider a 12-yard chip shot. With a 12-yard chip shot using the 6-iron, you can assume that you will hit the ball 3 yards, and it will roll for 9.

The lower loft on the 6 iron also does not produce much spin, which will partly increase the roll when using this particular golf club.

8 Iron

An 8 iron has more loft than the 6 iron, and therefore you will need a bit more carry distance than you do with the 6 iron. With the 8 iron chip shots, you will fly the ball 4 yards and let it roll for 8.

Pitching Wedge

Finally, the pitching wedge, which is a preferred golf club for this type of chip swing Rule of 12 golf shots. With the pitching wedge, you will need to hit the ball 6 yards and let it roll for 6 yards.

Pick a point about halfway between you and your target and let the golf ball land in this spot. 

Is The Rule Accurate?

The basic concept and theory behind the Rule of 12 are fairly accurate. You will need to pick a landing area and let the ball roll for part of the way to the hole. If you are using any type of chipping method, it is important to understand that you can’t land a golf ball close to the pin.

Unless you have a tremendous amount of spin and traction on your shots, the ball will roll past the hole.

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Although the Rule of 12 in golf chipping is not an exact science, it does help golfers to realize the size of the stroke they need and the basic formula for picking a landing area on the green.

How To Practice The Rule

Practicing the rule of 12 will require a practice green, several tees, the golf clubs discussed, and several golf balls. The first thing you will want to do is map out the green. Choose a hole and place a tee halfway between you and the hole.

This is going to be your position for the pitching wedge shot landing area. Then you can place two other tees to approximate where the 6 iron and the 8 iron should also land.

Pay close attention not to where the ball ends up but to where it lands on the green.

You will quickly see how different each shot is and the way the Rule of 12 works in chipping.

You will quickly learn that carry and distance are also going to be impacted by the slope on the green, the speed of the greens, and sometimes the club itself. Some golf irons have hotter club faces than others; this will impact the overall results. See our recent post on how to Read greens for speed and break

Chipping golf club – Which is best?

The best club to use for chipping is probably the pitching wedge. Since the club has a bit more loft than other options, it is a good choice when it comes to forgiveness. Another thing that many golfers forget to think about is putting it when they are near the green.

If the approach to the hole is rather flat and the grass is cut short, sometimes it can make sense to use a putter instead of an iron or a wedge. Chips can often go poorly, and if this happens, you may be further from the hole than you originally started.

Always make sure you are using a club that you feel confident in. Chipping should give you a chance to roll the ball in the hole, not just get it close.



Hopefully, you have a bit of a better understanding of the Rule of 12 in golf chipping. This rule is not a difficult one to remember, and it just takes a bit of time to figure out the steps and all that is involved.

Once you have the feeling down, you won’t really have to think about the Rule of 12; it will simply become something that you do naturally. If you would like more golf tips be sure to check out the rest of AEC Info.

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