The Difference Between Chipping and Pitching
The Difference Between Chipping and Pitching is a short golf blog post examining the main differences between the two shots.
There is a lot of confusion still between these two shots. Many golfers, experienced too, still struggle to see where the differences are.
With this golf blog post, my main aim was to try and break the shots down into, 1. Description, 2. Technique, 3. Trajectory and Roll and 4. Intended Purpose.
In golf, the pitch shot and the chip shot are two essential short-game shots that every golfer should master.
While they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between these shots in terms of technique, trajectory, and intended purpose.
Let’s explore the unique characteristics of each shot.
The Differences between Chipping and Pitching
The Chip Shot:
A chip shot is typically played from a short distance around the green. The objective is to get the ball onto the putting surface and rolling towards the hole as quickly as possible. The key focus of a chip shot is control and accuracy.
For a chip shot, the golfer typically uses a less lofted club, such as a pitching wedge or a sand wedge. The ball position is often back in the stance, and the hands are positioned ahead of the ball at the address.
This promotes a downward strike with minimal wrist hinge during the swing which will increase accuracy.
3. Trajectory and Roll:
The chip shot is characterized by a low trajectory and minimal air time. The ball is struck with a relatively level or slightly descending blow, resulting in a low, controlled flight.
The goal is to have the ball land on the green quickly and roll like a putt towards the hole because it is easier to control.
4. Intended Purpose:
The chip shot is primarily used when the golfer is close to the green, typically within a few yards. It is effective for navigating tight spaces, avoiding obstacles, and getting the ball rolling smoothly on the green’s surface.
The chip shot is an excellent choice when the lie is good and there are minimal hazards or undulations to navigate.
The Pitch Shot:
A pitch shot is employed when the golfer needs to cover a greater distance than a chip shot. This is often when approaching the green from a more significant distance.
It is a versatile shot that allows the golfer to control trajectory and spin for different situations.
In a pitch shot, the golfer uses a more lofted club, such as a gap wedge, sand wedge, or lob wedge, depending on the desired trajectory and distance.
The ball position may be slightly forward in the stance, and the hands remain slightly ahead of the ball at impact.
Trajectory and Spin:
Unlike the chip shot, the pitch shot has a higher trajectory with more air time. The golfer aims to strike the ball with a slightly descending blow, compressing it against the clubface to create spin.
This spin helps the ball stop quickly upon landing on the green, minimizing roll.
The pitch shot is utilized when the golfer needs to cover a moderate distance, typically between 10 to 50 yards, although it can be adjusted for longer distances as well.
It allows the golfer to control the trajectory, spin, and stopping power of the ball. This makes it effective for clearing hazards, navigating undulating greens, and attacking pin positions tucked behind obstacles.
The key differences between the pitch shot and the chip shot can be summarised as follows:
- Distance: The chip shot is typically used for short distances near the green whereas a pitch shot covers a greater distance, often from further away.
- Club Selection: The chip shot is played with a less lofted club, such as a 9 iron or a pitching wedge, while the pitch shot needs a more lofted club, such as a sand wedge or lob wedge.
- Trajectory: The chip shot has a low trajectory and minimal air time, while the pitch shot has a higher trajectory with more air time.
- Roll: The chip shot is intended to land on the green quickly and roll like a putt, while the pitch shot aims to stop quickly upon landing, minimizing roll.
In conclusion, mastering both the chip and pitch shots is not just crucial for a golfer’s short game but in turn, it will also improve their handicap.
Understanding the differences in technique, trajectory, and intended purpose between these shots allows golfers to choose the most appropriate.
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