Putting Greens News & Blog
Chipping vs. Pitching: Exploring the Gray Area Part 2
Thursday, July 6th, 2006
In this half of Chipping vs. Pitching, the focus will be on your pitching shot. While the chip shot is for distances of less than five yards between your ball and the green, pitch shots are for distances greater than five yards.
Pitching is a very different kind of shot from chipping. This is a high-loft shot designed to have as little roll as possible. A pitch is generally done with a high-loft club like your pitching wedge, sand wedge, or loft wedge. This is a standard golf stroke, much like what you’re used to using with any of your other irons. The only real difference is the distance involved.
It’s the exact opposite of a chip shot: no roll and high loft. But like a chip shot, there is a very specific reason for employing this type of shot. A chip shot from any distance greater than five yards will run too far to be a viable shot, whereas a pitch shot from a distance of shorter than five yards will not have a great deal of control and will run very little. Ideally, any situation where you have to rely on the shot’s trajectory in the air is not an ideal situation.
Body position for chip shots is similar to what you might know from your other irons. Keep your feet apart at about shoulder width or slightly greater, and use you backswing to determine how far the shot will go. Amazingly enough, the strokes you take pitching, no matter the distance, will be almost identical. Only the club you chose will determine how much loft, and therefore distance, your shot will end up having.
As always, remember the golden rules: don’t take your eyes off the point of contact until the ball is away, keep your body quiet during your shot (flailing hips and wrists are the death of many a good golf game), and keep your swing consistent and clean. Simple as it sounds, it’s very difficult to do correctly, but if you figure it out, you’ll see the difference on your score card.
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