Chipping vs Pitching

Chipping or pitching, this is the question! Just like, in Hamlet, the question was, “to be or not to be.” William Shakespeare, through this soliloquy, asks if it is worthwhile living a life. Similarly, is it worthwhile to chip or to pitch? Chip or pitch, which one, when, how, and why are the questions that will be answered in this blog. Remember, the chipping or pitching comes to play after a missed shot. The player must do it either in the green or nearby to it. The objectives are to either putt directly or make the ball as close to the hole as possible. The short game is mostly won by those who were better in chipping and pitching.

It is indeed imperative to clarify the difference between chipping and pitching. Many a time, golf players use the terms interchangeably. They use the word chip when they are pitching and vice versa. In other words, they know what they are doing and what they mean to say; it is just that the terminology is interchanged. The differences and similarities between the chip shots and the pitch shots are presented below.

Differences: Chipping Vs Pitching

The following are the key differences between the chip shot and the pitch shot.

 

Similarities: Chipping Vs Pitching

The following are the similarities between the chipping and pitching.

  1. Both the chip shot and the pitch shot require a shorter swing.
  2. Both the chip shot and the pitch shot are shot game shots up to 50 yards.
  3. Having the knowledge and skill of playing the chip shots and the pitch shots gives an added advantage to the players.
  4. Both chipping and pitching are creative shots.

 

Tips for Chipping and Pitching

In the following section, the tips to better chip in golf and better pitch in golf are shared. Using these tips can be of great help in improving the short game.

Tips for Chipping (Chip Shot)

How to chip in golf is more of an art than a science. To have perfect golf chips, the following tips should help.

  1. Be relaxed; it is the ultimate requirement. Aim to make the solid contact of the club with the ball.
  2. Get a little closer to the golf ball than usual.
  3. Toe the face instead of opening.
  4. For the chip shot, the club should be more vertical (more like pushing) to the golf ball.
  5. Instead of having a regular grip of the shaft/club, use a weaker handgrip.
  6. While hitting the ball, the arms and chest should be upside down (like a triangle).
  7. There should be no wrist movement during the swing.
  8. The golf player must hit the ball first and then the ground.

 

Tips for Pitching (Pitch Shot)

To have a perfect pitch shot in the short game, the following tips should help.

  1. Be relaxed; it is the ultimate requirement.
  2. Instead of having a regular grip of the shaft/club, use a weaker handgrip.
  3. Open the face instead of toeing. It allows the usage of the bounce of the wedge. Opening the face means the alignment of your shoulder, feet, and hips should be on the left of the target while the clubface should be pointing a little right of the golf ball. The feet should be shoulder-width apart from each other.
  4. Do not overdo with the backswing of the club when hitting the ball. Remember, use the hinged swing of the arm.
  5. Hit in a way that the ball travels a lot higher and be able to land softer on the green.

 

Club Selection: Chipping vs Pitching

The choice of club matters in the game of golf, be it the short game or otherwise. In case of choosing the club for a chip shot or a pitch shot, the details of the choice of the club are given below.

Club Selection for Chipping

Interestingly any type of club is used for the chip shot. However, the choice of club mainly depends on the comfort-ability of the player, distance, and the conditions of the course. However, the following details must be kept in mind.

  1. The wedge is used by most of the golf game players for chipping.  For a basic chip, it is advisable to use 52 to 56 degrees wedge.
  2. Many players use mid-iron to play a chip shot. But others prefer to chip without the use of mid-irons.
  3. Few players prefer hybrids or woods for chipping over irons.

 

Club Selection for Pitching

The two main variables that get involved in the choice of club for pitching are the distance from the hole and the obstacles in between. The following information should help to decide the choice of club for pitching.

  1. The first and the foremost important club is the 10-iron or the pitching wedge for a pitch shot in the golf game. But be cautious; it requires a lot of practice to use the pitching wedge. But once the short game improves, the score significantly drops with the use of the pitching wedge. The pitching wedge is used when there is a lot of green and almost no obstacle.
  2. In case there is not that much green to cover, or more obstacles of some level are in between, the short game must be managed with the gap wedge.
  3. In still other cases, when the hole is closer, or there are still more obstacles, the short game requires the use of a sand wedge or lob wedge.

 

Final Words

“Hole in one” is rare and mostly luck-based. The likes are that the ball will end up in the green. The short game begins either in the green or nearby, where the swing, ball hit, power, pitch, and chipping in golf is what matters the most. Its name may be “short game,” but it is decisive. A good short game in the green can lower the score drastically.

A player, after a missed shot, must thoroughly understand the situation first. The understanding of the situation requires the ball position, green conditions (dry or wet), ball location, and distance of the ball from the hole, among others. Accordingly, decide to pitch or chip, golf ball. Once finalized, use the relevant club, considering the swing speed, hit the ball through the green into the hole. The swing speed must be kept in mind before hitting. Once these parameters are decided, it is time to putt!

Read our guide on Graphite Vs Steel Shafts to choose the right golf clubs for your game.