The club head angle demonstrated below is placed at about 45 degrees to the ground. It is used when you want to get extra loft. The best times to use loft are:
- when you want to have the ball lift over an obstacle like a sand trap edge or the entire sand trap or have the ball go over the fringe
- when you want the ball to have backspin enough to stop where it lands
If you have a short distance to the green where you are considering putting the ball, closing the club so that it sits at a 90 degree angle to the turf will produce a similar strike on the ball as a putter (see photograph below).
- low arc allows the back swing to control the distance the ball travels
- preventing hitting anything that lies within the arc of the ball
The major problems with using a closed head are:
- increased interference with the turf
- a tendency for the ball to run across the green when hit too hard
- getting stopped by barriers between the club head and the hole such as sprinkler heads, heavy or wet grass on the apron, or raised greens.
Between the two extremes, open at 45 degree angle and closed at 90 degree angle, the golfer can choose a little more angle to get more loft to get over small barriers, or even more loft to get over medium barriers or to get better stopping distance. One of the reasons for using the practice chipping areas at the golf course or for taking a chipping class with a professional golfer is to practice using the golf club angle and to get a better estimate for how the arc varies distance.