You may not realize that although pitching and chipping in golf look the same, they are quite different. You may also not recognize that either shot can be accomplished with many different club options.
Knowing the difference between gold chipping vs. pitching will be a boost to you. Chipping and pitching are basic short game golf shots, but because novice golfers and those that don’t know the game, both shots often get scored as the same shot.
Why are professional golfers are typically consistent with their short game shots?
They are consistent because they understand that contact quality, as well as a variety of shots to choose from, are the backbone of a good short game – this includes knowing the differences between chipping and pitching.
In short, they know how to hit a chip shot and know how to hit a pitch shot when it counts.
What is Chipping?
Do you know how to chip in golf? A chip shot, or chipping, can be defined as a shot that is played from a place that is closer to the green, and is close to the putting green, too. Your chip shot is best played within a few yards of the green.
Once you swing and make contact with the ball, the ball pops into the air, hits the ground and then rolls in the direction of the hole. To give you some context, your swing should be smaller than a pitch shot by comparison.
When would you use a chip shot? Most golfers choose chipping when they need to get up and over a nearby obstacle because of the way the shot makes the ball pop up into the air for just a second before it hits the ground and rolls.
What is Golf Pitching?
A pitch shot, or pitching, is the opposite of chipping in almost every way. You play a pitch shot farther from the green when your ball has to travel further, about 40-50 yards or closer.
When you make contact with the ball after your swing, your ball will be in the air for a more extended amount of time than it will be rolling on the ground. Your swing is longer with a pitch shot than a chip shot.
Pitch shots will also stop faster on the green than a chip shot. The reason is that pitch shots have a more significant spin on them than chip shots, which makes them stop faster once they land.
When would you use a pitch shot? Golfers will use pitch shots when the ball needs to get up and stay in the air for a longer amount of time. Examples would be when there is a rough between where you’re standing and the green or if you need the ball to go up and come down without landing in a roll.
Selecting a Club for a Chip Shot
Your best options are going to be the higher-lofted wedge, an 8-iron, or a 9-iron. Here’s a pro-tip for you – 8- or 9- irons are considered better because they are more predictable when you use them in your short game.
8- or 9-irons are better options because they allow for a shorter swing, a more consistent level of spin, and more error in contact.
Even though chipping wedges, or lob wedges, are typically used in chip shots, you owe it to yourself to try something new next time you need to make one.
Selecting a Club for a Pitch Shot
According to Golf Digest, your best choices are the pitching wedge, gap wedge, or lob wedge. The pitching wedge is your best choice if there is plenty of green without obstacles. A gap wedge is your club of choice when you get over something like a rough with a good amount of green on the other side.
If you happen to have a more substantial obstacle in front of you or if the hole is closer to you, but not close enough for a chip shot, you’ll want to select the lob wedge.
To figure out which one will be best for your scenario, think about how far the ball needs to go to land on the green and what kind of stop landing does it need to have once it hits the ground.
Understanding Pitching vs. Chipping Ups Your Game
When you read about the differences between the shots, they are easy to visualize differently, right? Not so if you don’t know how to pitch a golf ball.
Chip shots are used up close, have less airtime, and more rolling time while pitch shots are used from a farther distance, have more airtime, and have a fast stop.
Wedges and irons get used for different techniques for both pitch shots and chip shots. Knowing which club to select for which shot can get you a top shot in golf games that lie in your future, so why not take a spin around the green and test out our suggestions?
Keep in touch with us to learn more ways to up your golf game!