The Difference Between a Chip and a Pitch?

by Jerramy Hainline, Hilton Golf Academy

Before you can learn how to start chipping and pitching the shots around the green, you have to know the difference between a chip and a pitch.  A chip is the shot that is low and rolls along the ground for most of the time, whereas a pitch is higher and more lofted. Pitches are shots typically used to go OVER things like sand bunkers and water.  In the Golf Academy we use what we call the “1/3 – 2/3 rule”.  A CHIP will spend 1/3 of its time in the air and 2/3 of its time rolling along the ground.  A PITCH will do the opposite, 2/3 air and 1/3 roll.  Remember this simple phrase; “you chip ON and you pitch OVER”.

 If you want to hit a chip you obviously want the ball to travel lower along the ground and roll more; therefore you will use the NUMBERED clubs, i.e. 5, 7, and 9 irons.  The lower the number, the less the loft, the longer the roll, the longer the chip.  If you want to pitch the shot you are trying to achieve, height with less roll, you will use the LETTERED clubs, i.e. pitching wedge, sand wedge, or lob wedge.  These clubs will pop the ball up into the air and minimize the roll once it comes down to the ground.

As far a technique is concerned the shots are similar, but not exactly the same.  Always remember to keep you weight on your front foot, keep your hands pressed toward the target, and always clip a little piece of grass as you hit down on the ball.

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