Chipping vs. Pitching in Golf: Spot the Differences

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A good short game can be imperative to lowering your golf scores. When we miss a shot, pitching and chipping are usually the next shots we need to make. Improving in this area will lower your score more than anything else. This is because you will be able to hit shots closer to the flag with good pitching and chipping skills.

Despite sounding similar, there are some key differences to consider when comparing chipping vs pitching. Chipping and pitching are both short game shots that require solid technique. However, golfers must use the right wedge for the right occasion to ensure high-quality course management as you approach the green.

This guide explores some of the key differences between a pitch shot and a chip shot.

What Are The Differences Between Chipping And Pitching?

A chip shot is a shot that bounces off the ground quickly after impact and stays close to the ground, whereas a pitch shot has more carry, a higher trajectory and more spin, which makes the ball stop more quickly after it drops.

Since pitch shots are generally farther away from the green than chip shots, they require a longer swing. Alternatively, as a general rule, chip shots occur very close to the green.

In addition to the player’s comfort level and the distance of a wedge shot, obstacles may be considered when choosing which of a chip and pitch shot you want to implement on the course.

Chip Shots

Chip shots are a great skill to have in your golf game. They are often used when the ball is lying on the edge of a bunker, under a tree, or off of any ground that could be deemed difficult to play from. Below we cover some of the critical ways that chip shots can benefit your game and how to get started.

How Do I Hit The Chip Shot?

To hit a chip shot, golfers need to know the distance to the hole from the back of the green, and they need to assess the course conditions for any obstructions. If a chip shot is suitable, you will maintain the feel and control of the shot by having a light grip or even your putting grip. You mustn’t break your wrist.

Additionally, you will want to have your stance closer to the ball than pitching and have the ball back in your stance. Finally, in terms of ball position, feet position is vital as you will benefit from having the majority of your weight toward your lead foot.

When Should I Use A Chip Shot?

The chip shot is a short game shot that golfers use to get the ball onto the green. It is generally played from within 30 yards of the flag and requires less backswing than a pitch. They are also used when a golfer is close to the green and needs to hit a low shot with plenty of roll to the hole. 

To hit the chip shot, you use your short game skills to make sure the ball moves forward towards your target. A sound chip shot can be the difference between a birdie or a bogey.

What Is The Best Club To Use For Chipping?

Using one of the best wedges for chipping will allow you to be consistent with your swings. However, too many golfers use a lob wedge when a pitching wedge would be a better choice for their game. When you are chipping, your backswing should be short and controlled. You will want to keep the ball low to the ground, and the best clubs for chipping will help you maintain consistency in your swing. This is why a pitching wedge is an excellent alternative to a lob wedge, as more often than not, you have plenty of green to work with. This means you can create more roll to replicate a putt.

Pitch Shots

A good pitch shot is a valuable skill to have in your golf game as it can help you out when you are hitting the golf ball in the air and over an obstacle. How pitch shots can help your game is outlined below, along with some critical tips.

How Do I Hit A Pitch Shot?

Pitch shots are essential to learn for golfers of all abilities. Pitch shots fly farther than chips and stop quicker than chips due to the backspin on the golf ball generated by the loft of the wedge

The pitch shot requires a slightly different approach to hitting the ball higher and carrying it over some rough or a bunker. A pitch shot is done with a full swing (opposed to a partial swing when chipping) and a ball position closer to the ball to allow you to maintain complete control of the shot. Pitching can help you hit the target within 50-75 yards of the green and stop the ball better when it is in the air.

When Should I Hit A Pitch Shot?

When you have an obstacle in your way, the pitch shot will get the ball to go over an area with limited risk while still making it to the green. A pitch shot is more complex than a chip shot to execute, especially when carrying water or bunkers. However, it is a skill that you should practice as it can reap great rewards.

What Is The Best Club To Use For Pitching?

The best club to use for pitch shots is the pitching wedge. The lofted head allows you to get the ball up and into the air while generating spin and maintaining control. A pitching wedge setup will help you keep it on a straighter path over the rough or bunker and into the green and can be easier to learn than a lob wedge or sand wedge.

Chipping Vs Pitching: What Are The Differences For The Short Game?

As you can see, there are many similarities when comparing chipping vs pitching for the short game. The difference between chipping and pitching relates to the type shot that you are facing and the distance left to the target.

Both a chip and pitch shot are skills that you will need to master if you are serious about lowering your scores. They are a skill mastered by leading golfers such as Phil Mickelson. (

No matter whether you are chipping vs pitching, a pitching wedge is an excellent choice of club that you can use to carry the ball towards the green with great accuracy.