Golf Chipping Vs Pitching

Golf is a sport that demands a diverse set of skills, and one of the most critical areas to excel in is the short game. When it comes to the short game, two primary techniques are employed: chipping and pitching. Both are essential for getting the ball closer to the hole and improving your overall golf performance. In this guide, we will delve into the key differences between golf chipping and pitching, the techniques involved, and when to use each method.

Rangefinder on Discount

1. Golf Chipping: Precision and Control

Chipping is a golf technique used when the golfer is relatively close to the green, typically within a few yards. The primary goal of chipping is to get the ball onto the green and rolling towards the hole with minimal airtime. Here are some key aspects of golf chipping:

  • Club Selection: Golfers typically use a wedge or a low-lofted iron, such as a 7 or 8 iron, for chipping. The choice of club depends on the distance, lie, and trajectory required.
  • Technique: The chipping technique involves a short, controlled swing with minimal wrist action. The weight is shifted towards the front foot, and the ball is struck with a descending blow, causing it to roll along the ground.
  • Trajectory: Chipping produces a low trajectory with minimal backspin. The goal is to get the ball rolling like a putt as quickly as possible.
  • Distance Control: Chipping requires precise distance control. Golfers must adjust the length of their backswing to achieve the desired distance, similar to how one might adjust the length of a putt.

2. Golf Pitching: Precision with Elevation

Pitching, on the other hand, is used when the golfer needs to clear an obstacle like a bunker or a mound, or when there is a longer distance to cover. Pitching allows the golfer to get the ball in the air and control its descent. Here are the key aspects of golf pitching:

  • Club Selection: Pitching typically involves a higher-lofted wedge, such as a sand wedge or a lob wedge, which allows for more loft and height on the shot.
  • Technique: Pitching involves a more substantial backswing and follow-through than chipping. Golfers need to engage their wrists and hinge them to create a higher launch angle.
  • Trajectory: Pitching produces a higher trajectory with more backspin. This allows the ball to land softly on the green and stop quickly.
  • Distance Control: Pitching requires precise control over both distance and trajectory. Golfers must adjust the length of their backswing, follow-through, and the speed of their swing to achieve the desired results.

3. Practice and Drills for Chipping:

To excel in chipping, you need to work on your technique and develop a feel for distance control. Here are some practice tips and drills to enhance your chipping skills:

  • Landing Zones: Set up specific landing zones on the practice green and work on landing your chips consistently in those areas. This helps refine your distance control.
  • Different Clubs: Practice chipping with different clubs to handle various situations. For example, use an 8-iron for low, running chips and a sand wedge for higher, softer chips.
  • Hinge and Hold: Work on the “hinge and hold” technique, where you hinge your wrists on the backswing and hold that angle through impact. This promotes a controlled, consistent strike.

4. Practice and Drills for Pitching:

Pitching requires precision and touch around the greens. Here are some practice tips and drills to improve your pitching game:

  • Varying Distances: Practice pitching from various distances, ranging from short pitches to longer pitch shots. This helps you develop a feel for different swing lengths and power.
  • Landing on a Towel: Place a towel or a small target on the green and practice pitching to land the ball on it consistently. This drill improves your accuracy.
  • Trajectory Control: Experiment with different lofts and club selections to control the trajectory of your pitch shots. Being able to vary the height of your pitches is invaluable on the course.

5. Decision-Making on the Course:

Choosing between chipping and pitching on the course involves careful decision-making. Consider the following factors:

  • Obstacles: Assess the obstacles between your ball and the hole. If there are bunkers, rough, or other obstacles to clear, pitching might be the better option.
  • Green Conditions: Take into account the condition of the green. If the green is firm and fast, a chip shot may be more effective in getting the ball close to the hole quickly.
  • Pin Placement: The location of the pin on the green is crucial. A tucked pin may require a higher, softer pitch shot to stop the ball close, while a centrally placed pin may allow for a lower, running chip.
  • Your Comfort Level: Ultimately, your decision should be influenced by your comfort and confidence with each technique. Choose the shot you feel most capable of executing successfully.

Golf Chipping Vs Pitching

Club SelectionTypically, a higher-lofted clubTypically, a lower-lofted club (wedge)
Ball FlightLow trajectory with rollHigher trajectory with less roll
Shot DistanceShorter distances (up to 20-30 yards)Longer distances (typically 30+ yards)
Use CasesClose to the green, chip-and-runApproaches to the green, lofted shots
DifficultyEasier for many golfersRequires more skill and precision

Chipping Techniques

Club ChoiceTypically, choose a club with higher loft.
StanceFeet close together, weight on front foot.
SwingShort backswing, focus on control and aim.
Green ConditionsWorks well on tight lies and firm greens.
Common MistakeHitting behind the ball, causing fat shots.

Pitching Techniques

Club ChoiceTypically, use a wedge with less loft.
StanceSlightly wider stance, weight shift to back foot.
SwingLonger backswing, focus on generating spin.
Green ConditionsEffective from rough or soft turf.
Common MistakeDecelerating through the swing, resulting in thin shots.

Chipping Drills

One-Handed ChippingDevelops touch and control.
Hula Hoop ChippingFocuses on accuracy and landing zones.
Coin DrillImproves strike consistency.
Ladder DrillEnhances distance control.
Up-and-Down ChallengeSimulates real-game pressure situations.

Pitching Drills

Pitching Target PracticeAims for precision and landing on specific spots.
Distance Control DrillFocuses on varying distances with consistent strikes.
Bunker PitchingImproves pitching out of bunkers.
Rough Lie PitchingPrepares for challenging lies in the rough.
Pitching GameSimulates on-course scenarios for pitching.

When to Use Each Technique:

  1. Chipping: Use chipping when you’re close to the green with little to no obstacles between your ball and the hole. Chipping is ideal for situations where you want the ball to stay low and roll out, like when you have a clear path to the hole.
  2. Pitching: Choose pitching when you need to carry the ball over obstacles or when there is more distance to cover. Pitching is perfect for situations where you want the ball to land softly and stop quickly, such as when the pin is placed further back on the green or when there are hazards to clear.

In conclusion, mastering both chipping and pitching techniques is crucial for improving your short game in golf. Understanding when and how to use each method will help you navigate various situations on the golf course and ultimately lower your scores. Consistent practice and proper technique are key to success in both chipping and pitching, so dedicate time to honing these essential skills.


Golf Chipping Vs Pitching


  • Anglo Carson

    Anglo Carson, a Certified Golf Instructor, embarked on a remarkable journey, driven by his unwavering love for golf. He founded The Golf Mine with a singular mission - to create a golfing haven where passion knows no boundaries. His lifelong love affair with golf, combined with his expertise as a Certified Golf Instructor, turned into a vision to share his extensive knowledge, inspire, and promote the game he holds dear.

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