What is the difference between a pitch and chip shot?
I am asked that question on a frequent basis. To explain it in it’s simplest terms, the difference is yardage.
Here is the funny thing about it, there is no set distance to determine the two shots. I have been in situations on the golf course where I need to hit a 60-70 chip shot. I have also been in the situation of having to hit a 3 yard pitch. I was even lucky enough to have to chip a shot with my driver from about 125 yards one day and really got lucky and holed it out! Now how good is that? Mostly what is determined is the type of shot you have to hit.
A safe but General rule of thumb is this. If you can’t putt, chip, if you can’t chip, pitch, never pitch if you can avoid it. And lob shots are few and far between.
Pitching a golf ball ball allows and leaves room for error. Pitch shots are shots that are not hit at full speed or swing, hence the ball comes of the club face a little softer and also with less speed. It is this less speed that has the ability to affect the ball flight.
Let’s look at this example;
Ever played golf on a windy day, put yourself in a position of having to hit a soft pitch or lob shot, only to have the wind knock it down, send it long, or push it off line? That in itself is your perfect example of hitting or not hitting a pitch or lob shot.
More times then not you can almost always play a little bump and run shot (aka chip) into the green and run it up next to the hole or close to it.
The proof is in the pudding when it comes to hitting shots that fly low and run forever. In another instance I was playing with a guy on a real windy day and he hit his putter of the tee box. Screamed it down the fairway about 150 yards into a 35 mile an hour head wind. His second shot he used the putter and again with a full swing motion (not full power just full range of motion). Another 150 yards later he was sitting in the fairway 220 yards from the hole, and then he did again on this par 5. How about this, he used the putter the entire hole and made 5. He did have to have his putter re-adjusted after the round, but it saved him from making bogey or worse. Not bad. I asked him later why he did that (even though I knew) he said he was thinking giant chip shot the whole way!
So the next time you are thinking pitch, lob, or chip…use the chip, you will undoubtedly receive better results.
Until Next Time, Happy Golfing and Have a Great DayRobb Nunn, PGA Professional For more information and the latest golf tips and lessons, visit http://robbnunn.com
Easy Pitch Shot
Brand new golf instruction manual focusing on the pitch shot (50 yds and in)
Easy Pitch Shot