CHIPPING vs. PITCHING
Having a hard time understanding the difference of when to chip and when to pitch? Hopefully this article will clear that up for you and make your play easier and more enjoyable.
When to Chip
There are two situations where the chip shot could be the best option. Firstly if you happen to be in the rough, say under trees, and you need to keep the ball low.
A chip is when you have a shorter distance to hit the ball and you want to stay close to the ground, however, if you need to jump the ball over an obstacle such as a sand trap or a watering hole for example you may want a bit of air. A pitch comes in handy for that. A pitch will get the ball higher and give it more distance.
Chipping the ball is one area in which a golf beginner can become proficient fairly quickly. The swing is very short, so it’s easy to make solid contact and earn a nice result.
There are two primary components required to become a good chipper: correct technique , and understanding which club to use for different situations.
As a beginner, your main focus should be on technique. Without it, your club choice is irrelevant. While you’re still learning how to chip, it’s wise to stick with one club for every shot – and the pitching wedge is your best option. Its short shaft makes it easy to control, while its loft makes helps you get the ball into the air.
Once you’ve gotten a decent handle on chipping fundamentals, you can play a variety of different shots with the pitching wedge. For example, a high shot that stops quickly on the green, or a low chip that rolls after landing. Most experienced golfers use a variety of clubs for chipping, with choices based on their lie, the length of the shot and the slope of the green.
But in the early stages of beginner-hood, stay focused on the basic chipping setup, stance, ball position and swing, and save the more advanced stuff for later. In the short term, the pitching wedge is the only club you really need.
When to Pitch
The only similarity between the chip and the pitch shot is that both are not full-swing shots. Unlike the chip shot, with the pitch, you are looking for a flight trajectory with little or no roll out.
You would choose a pitch shot if you were faced with an obstruction, such as a pond, stream, or bunker that you need to get over. It may also be that the ground conditions on the way to the green were such that a chip and run would not work.
When you need to land the ball softly with a lot of backspin, or the pin is placed close to the front of the green, the
pitch shot would again be the right option.
To hit a pitch shot you would use the high loft clubs, from a lob wedge to say a 9 iron, depending on the distance and the height required