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30 - 40 Yards from pin, better to pitch or chip?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Golf buddy and I always have debates on these shots.  I am more accurate pitching from these distances and he's much better at chipping.  His thought process is there's more chance for me to hit the ball fat or thin on a pitch and be left in worse shape than where a mishit chip would end up.  I'm not very good at chipping, but usually can put the ball within 15' pitching though admittedly I have had a few mishits that turned into blow up holes.  What is the preferred shot for these distances? 

post #2 of 24

My teachers (Graves Golf) say:

putt when you can

chip when you can't putt

pitch when you can't chip

flop when you can't pitch

post #3 of 24

swings in roundabouts,

 

it looks like an easy chip and run, but the ball veers off wildely from a crappy bounce and you wonder "Why didnt i just eliminate that issue with a pitch?"

 

then you pitch it and flubb it and you wonder "Why didnt i just eliminate that issue with a chip?"

 

personally i much prefer the pitch, i find the distance control to be better, and something mentally to me says, "elimate all chance of this ball running through the green, rolling up short, taking a wild dive in the wrong direction"

post #4 of 24

Depends on what the shot demands, if there's alot of green with out alot of slope i will usually hit a lower shot that will just carry onto the green and roll out. If i need to stop it quicker or the green runs away from me, i might hit a softer pitch shot. Or if i need to carry a bunker first, things like that. 

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

My teachers (Graves Golf) say:

putt when you can

chip when you can't putt

pitch when you can't chip

flop when you can't pitch


Alas my game's not good enough for that. For me it's:

 

Putt when you can

Pitch because it's your best shot

Flop if needed

Don't ever EVER chip because you're an idiot and will likely blade it 50 yards past the green unless you're using a putting stroke. b4_blushing.gif

 

post #6 of 24
It just depends on the person and what they prefer. Just whatever is comfortable for the player and the shot at the time. Every shot can be approached differently. Some say that you should do this for this shot, and that for that shot, but it really doesn't matter what you do. Whatever gets the ball closer to the hole is the only right answer. How you do it doesn't matter.

From a fairway lie, I have gotten quite good at using a LW and flying the ball just short of the hole, take a bounce, hit the brakes. For me, I have found that to be the best way to hit those shots. Out of the rough may alter that a little depending on the lie and situation. I have a friend who, if the fairway is smooth, will putt anything that is within about 10-15 yards from the green. He is quite good at that method.
post #7 of 24

I chip everything, unless i absolutely cannot. Pitching for me is like closing my eyes and throwing the ball where I think the pin might be, I really have no clue where its going.

 

I think in a perfect world you'd use both depending on conditions.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 


That sounds like me, everytime I try to chip I end up blading it or hitting it too hard and watch it fly / roll of the green.  I guess I need to practice that shot more.  It seems like it would be an easy shot, but never seems to work for me. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon View Post

Alas my game's not good enough for that. For me it's:

 

Putt when you can

Pitch because it's your best shot

Flop if needed

Don't ever EVER chip because you're an idiot and will likely blade it 50 yards past the green unless you're using a putting stroke. b4_blushing.gif

 



 

post #9 of 24

Go with your best shot.

 

To eliminate the thins and fats on your pitches -- stay (weighted) on your front side during the entire stroke and use your lower body. Relax. 

 

Primarily using the small muscles of the arms will lead to fats and thins.

 

I prefer Phil Mickelson's hinge and hold. I might hinge less for a lower shot.

 

If I want it to run, I may hinge less but not hold, turning the club over for run.

 

With the normal hinge and hold, I get great spin and fly - I can be aggressive and go for the hole, since I use a urethane ball.

 

(I'd get Phil Mick's DVD and fool around with it -- get to know it, then experiment for the many things you can do with that technique)

post #10 of 24

I always thought difference between pitching and chipping was just the distance involved, not really a mechanical swing change.  Obviously this is wrong, but can anyone describe the swing changes involved with the difference between the two?

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJ View Post

I always thought difference between pitching and chipping was just the distance involved, not really a mechanical swing change.  Obviously this is wrong, but can anyone describe the swing changes involved with the difference between the two?


No idea if it's supposed to be this way but for me a pitch shot is basically a full swing but choked down the club if needed, less speed and more 'feel' on how far I want to hit it rather than hitting it full.

 

My chip shots are almost always bad so there's something definitely wrong with them but for me a chip shot is basically the hands moving very little in the takeaway, say from middle of the stand to the right leg, the hands cock completely so that the shaft is parallel to the ground and instead of the arms moving I try to use my body to turn and uncock the wrists at the ball. Again my chipping is hideous so that's undoubtedly wrong. b4_blushing.gif

 

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon View Post




No idea if it's supposed to be this way but for me a pitch shot is basically a full swing but choked down the club if needed, less speed and more 'feel' on how far I want to hit it rather than hitting it full.

 

My chip shots are almost always bad so there's something definitely wrong with them but for me a chip shot is basically the hands moving very little in the takeaway, say from middle of the stand to the right leg, the hands cock completely so that the shaft is parallel to the ground and instead of the arms moving I try to use my body to turn and uncock the wrists at the ball. Again my chipping is hideous so that's undoubtedly wrong. b4_blushing.gif

 



I see, OK that makes sense and thats what I've been doing all along I guess I just didn't know how to qualify it into words.  It sounds like the chipping you are describing is Mickelson's "hinge and hold" technique.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJ View Post

I see, OK that makes sense and thats what I've been doing all along I guess I just didn't know how to qualify it into words.  It sounds like the chipping you are describing is Mickelson's "hinge and hold" technique.


I think it's a big old mish mash of loads of sources I've cobbled together into an unworkable "technique" that lands me in trouble more often than not. lol

 

Not seen "hinge and hold" but Andrew Rice's technique is pretty close to what I'm failing to achieve:

 

 

post #14 of 24

my chipping isnt brilliant but i was pretty certain it involved pre-cocked wrists and a putting stroke? pitching is more of a normal set up and cocking the wrists in the swing?

post #15 of 24

I'm with Rustyredcab.  Unless I don't think I can hit a chip that won't run past the hole (i.e., when I have to fly more grass than i can roll on the green), i'm chipping.

 

I think everyone would agree that chipping is easier if you put in the time to learn it.  You just have to figure out the run to roll ratio for 2 or 3 clubs and learn to fly the ball 2-10 yards.  

 

 

Just take 10 balls and chip to pins on the green for an hour or two, a few times.  Fiddle with the different methods and find out which works best for you.  I started with utley, but found that moving the ball back to my right toe (i think utley says the ball should be more forward), let me hit the ball slightly higher on the face and avoid skulling it.  I put in maybe 6-7 hours of chipping practice over the past two weeks and my results improved dramatically--weakness became a strength.  

 

I think Utley said the difference is that on a chip your hitting the ball with a descending blow vs a pitch where you use the bounce of the club.  Of course, if you don't use his methods that won't make sense.

 

 

 

 

 

post #16 of 24

For me chipping is much closer to putting (but with body rotation), whereas pitching is much closer to a normal full swing (abreviated though for reduced distance).  This way chips stay pretty low to the ground and roll out a lot further than they traveled through the air; pitches fly higher and farther than they travel out on the ground.  You can experiment using the same technique and swing, but change the club to see what effect it has on the shot (height, distance traveled both in air and total, etc.).  You might be surprised to find that you can learn to groove one swing (backswing, follow through, power) and change the club you use for the distance required.  You can do this with both your chipping and pitching techniques.  I've seen old guys chipping and pitching with a 4 iron and bang the ball off the flag stick.  It's all about finding what works for you and then practicing and sticking with it. 

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJ View Post

I always thought difference between pitching and chipping was just the distance involved, not really a mechanical swing change.  Obviously this is wrong, but can anyone describe the swing changes involved with the difference between the two?



I think the mechanics of the swing is still the same (I favor a uniform swing -- makes it at least easier for me). With a chip however, you feet are together -- keeps your swing from getting too wide --  and then you're club head doesn't come all the way to a full down position at the strike -- it's still back a little. Then, you're essentially popping it. Your "pop" stays the same on different lengths from the pin but your swing arc goes wider for more distance. This works very well for me. I generally do this from 30 yds in, else I go back to a pitch. At this point, I'm still learning to get the swing down for different distances but it's just a matter of time before it all comes together. Hope this helps.

post #18 of 24

After working with Phil Mickelson's DVD, I've been chipping straight to the pin much more often and allowing it to bite.

 

However, if I'm not feeling a chip and can do a simple bump and run, I'll default to that.

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