Chipping Vs Pitching: What Are The Difference?

Golfers often find themselves in the rough, and getting out can be difficult. But with a little knowledge of chipping and pitching, you can ensure that your next shot is good!

Chipping and pitching are two different techniques golfers use when they’re in trouble. Understanding their differences can help you determine the one to use for any situation. 

In this article, we will look at what is chipping and pitching. What makes chipping and pitching different, and when to use them? We’ll also provide some tips on how to master both techniques so you can get out of trouble quickly—and confidently.


What Is A Chip Shot?

The chip shot is an essential technique that both novices and professionals should strive to master. Unlike high-flying shots, the chip shot emphasizes control around the putting surface, employing a low trajectory and lengthy ground travel to ensure that golfers maintain precision on the course.


When To Use Chip Shots? 

A chip shot, often considered a vital aspect of a golfer’s toolkit, is ideally executed in situations where the ball is not required to cover a significant distance to reach the hole and can predominantly glide on the ground. To achieve optimal results with a chip shot, focus on getting the ball rolling promptly upon impact.

This strategic play is best suited for leveled or uphill greens since it lacks any hindrances posed by substantial obstacles intervening the ball’s path. Essentially, one can think of a chip shot as an extended putt using an iron, enabling golfers to smoothly navigate their way to the hole with precision and technique.


How To Hit A Chip Shot?

Chipping Technique
Chipping Technique

A chip shot in golf is a crucial skill for any player looking to enhance their game, demonstrating precision and finesse while maneuvering the ball towards the hole. To successfully perform this skill, golfers must position themselves with a slightly open stance, delicately gripping the club for optimal control.

It’s essential to select an appropriate club to achieve accurate loft and distance; mastering this shot often requires a wedge, which allows for a deft touch. By focusing on the ball’s trajectory and landing point, a player can imagine the unfolding movement of the shot, which will assist in a proficient execution.

When striking the ball, implement a hip rotation accompanied by a downward movement of the club head, ensuring consistent control throughout the swing. This will achieve the desired loft of the ball, setting it on its correct path toward the hole.


What Is A Pitch Shot?

Pitch shots are short game strokes that produce a well-defined, lofty trajectory and robust spin. This shot is an indispensable tool on any golf course by keeping the ball in the air for more of its journey to the target.


When To Use Pitch Shots? 

Unlike a chip shot, a pitch shot allows you to elevate your golf ball higher in the air, ensuring a softer landing on the green. This makes it the ideal choice when faced with obstacles, such as water hazards or bunkers, standing between your golf ball and the hole.

The flop shot, a specialized type of pitch shot, is particularly useful when the hole is situated just beyond a challenging barrier and there is minimal green to work with.

Additionally, a pitch shot can be advantageous when navigating downhill sections of the course – it can make the difference between a successful approach and a disappointing result.


How To Hit A Pitch Shot?

chip shots vs pitch shots
Clubface contacting the ball in Pitch shots

As an essential element in a golfer’s repertoire, the pitch shot is typically played from within 100 yards to the green, with the primary objective of generating optimal loft and spin for precision and control.

One must establish a solid setup, positioning the ball towards the center or slightly forward, with the feet relatively close together and weight primarily on the front foot.

The proper grip and a smooth, controlled swing are vital, as well as maintaining consistent tempo and acceleration through impact to generate the necessary spin.

Visualization and mental composure play a significant role in executing a pitch shot, transforming knowledge and practice into reliable results for lower scores and an overall enhanced golfing experience.


The Difference Between Chipping And Pitching 

Although both techniques involve striking a golf ball to cover a short distance, each approach exhibits unique characteristics that cater to different situations.

Chipping entails a low trajectory shot, where the ball spends more time rolling along the ground than in the air, making it an ideal technique for situations where accuracy and control are paramount.

In contrast, a pitch shot involves a higher arc, propelling the ball to land softly on the green with minimal rolling distance, allowing a golfer to overcome potential hazards or undulations.


Tips For Mastering Both Techniques 

Mastering chip and pitch shots are essential for any golfer looking to improve their scores and overall game. These techniques require a blend of finesse, accuracy, and confidence to achieve the desired result consistently.

First, it’s important to analyze the situation before each shot, taking note of the lie, distance to the green, and potential hazards. Then, select the appropriate club for the shot, typically a wedge or short iron. Ensure a solid grip and stance with your weight slightly forward, and play the ball a little back in your stance.

When executing the shot, focus on maintaining a smooth tempo and making solid contact with the ball. Remember, practice makes perfect, so invest ample time perfecting these techniques. Incorporating feedback from a professional coach or utilizing technology to analyze the swing will also accelerate progress.

As with any golf skill, mastering chip and pitch shots will result in a more well-rounded and competitive golfer.


Wrapping Up 

Chipping and pitching are both important techniques in a golfer’s short game, but understanding the differences between them can help you make the right decision when playing golf. 

With practice and helpful tips, you can master both chipping and pitching to help improve your game on the course. Good luck!


Frequently Asked Questions

How Far Is A Pitch Shot In Golf?

A pitch shot in golf can be anywhere from 30 to 100 yards, depending on the golfer’s skill level and the distance needed to reach the flag. Using a lofted club – such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge – is important for optimal results.

What Type Of Swing Should I Use For Chipping?

When taking a chip shot, keeping your weight centered throughout the swing and ensuring that your arms swing in unison with your body is important. Additionally, use a shorter-than-normal backswing and focus on accelerating the clubhead through impact. This will help you make cleaner contact with the ball, resulting in better control over distance and trajectory.

Opt for a lofted club like a pitching or sand wedge when chipping for best results.

What Should I Do If My Pitch Shot Is Too Low?

If your pitch shot is too low, you may need to adjust your technique. To increase the height of your shot, focus on maintaining your posture throughout the swing and accelerating the clubhead through impact. Additionally, try using a more lofted club – such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge – to get more backspin and loft on the ball.

What Should I Focus On When Chipping? 

When chipping, it is important to keep your weight centered throughout the swing, maintain your balance and ensure that your arms swing in unison with your body. Additionally, focus on accelerating the clubhead through impact to help you hit cleaner shots with optimal distance control.

What Is The Best Club To Use When Pitching? 

The best club to use when pitching is a lofted club, such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge. These clubs have more loft and allow you to produce more backspin on the ball for better control and accuracy.

What Kind Of Shot Should I Use To Make A Full Swing When There Is No Green? 

When there is no green to make a full swing, it is best to use a chipping technique. This will help you get the ball up and over obstacles with minimal effort. Additionally, focus on maintaining balance throughout the swing and accelerating the clubhead through impact for optimal performance.

How Do I Make Sure I Get Enough Backspin When Pitching? 

Use a lofted club such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge to get enough backspin when pitching. These clubs have more loft and allow you to apply backspin on the ball for greater control. Additionally, focus on accelerating the clubhead through impact and keeping your balance throughout the swing. This will help you produce a crisp, clean shot with plenty of backspin.



  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

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