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Chip vs Pitch

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What exactly is the difference between the two. I've been practicing hitting a target from about 40 - 50 yards away. I bring my arms back slightly, hands still low, then break my wrists so the club is parallel to the ground. The swing hard and through, turning my entire body and the ball flies the distance. Is this chipping or pitching?

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For me, "chip" is a short shot from ~30ft or so onto the green, e.g. from just outside the fringe or just over a bunker. Ordinarily my chip shots are pretty much my putter swing but perhaps a little harder.

A "pitch" shot for me is a shot from ~30 to ~120ft where I use a 1/2, 3/4 or full swing depending on club.

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I like Stan Utley's definitions myself.  A pitch uses the bounce on the club, a chip is basically the bottom part of your regular swing that hits the ball first.

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Sounds like a Pitch to me, OP.  For me, a chip doesn't hinge the wrists.

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Chip shot: Hit the ball first and hit down on it, often with a forward leaning shaft. Creates more backspin and a lower ball flight. Ball centered or inside the left heel. You can have a little hinge action, as long as you don't unhinge it too much on the downswing. Many recommend keeping the wrists locked. A pretty safe shot when you do it properly since you don't need to get the club under the ball.

Pitch shot: Hit the ground first 1-2 inches behind the ball with the bounce of the club. The hands are still forward of the clubhead, but it will catch up through impact, almost slide it under the ball. The shaft must lean enough forward to avoid bouncing the club on the ground and skulling the ball, but not so far forward that you bring the leading edge into play. I recommend looking at the spot on the ground where you want the club to make contact first, much like a bunker shot. Ball placement inside the left heel. The ball will fly higher, land softer, and have less spin. This is a more risky shot, especially from tight lies.

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I think there is enough variation in technique that I prefer the defiition I first heard maybe twenty years ago.  A chip is a shot that rolls farther than it carries, a pitch is a shot that carries farther than it rolls.


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Originally Posted by bradsul

I like Stan Utley's definitions myself.  A pitch uses the bounce on the club, a chip is basically the bottom part of your regular swing that hits the ball first.


I prefer those definitions myself.

Here's another that's okay:

chip - played with much more of a putting stroke, no wrist hinge, etc.

pitch - wrist hinge/cock

Originally Posted by allin

I think there is enough variation in technique that I prefer the defiition I first heard maybe twenty years ago.  A chip is a shot that rolls farther than it carries, a pitch is a shot that carries farther than it rolls.


The problem with that definition, as I believe Utley points out, is that I can pitch a ball to a green sloping away from me and it can roll 3x as far as it flies, and conversely, can chip to a green sloped towards me and it can stop really quickly and fly a relatively long distance.

Thus regardless of the motion made, not only could the angle at which the green sits change whether you're "pitching" or "chipping" but so too could green speeds - faster greens would make everything lean towards "chip" despite the motion made.

That's why I've never liked that definition.

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If you hit the chip well and play with a soft ball, the backspin will make it stop pretty fast. At least it does on TV. I get some check, but not the same amount. So you got another shot there, which is a variation of the chip. A bump and run chip is more what I call a chip with a PW or lower iron that you just want to clear some fringe or fairway and get it running. The basics (hit the ball first) is the same as with a lofted wedge chip with lots of spin that stops fast.

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I agree, I was responding tongue in cheek.  I believe the best way to hit these shots is pick a technique that matches your swing and playing style, then practice and experiment a little.  To me this is the area where some creativity can really pay off.  I feel that you can afford more trial and error in this part of the game.  It also lessons the boredom factor of short game practice.

Originally Posted by iacas

I prefer those definitions myself.

Here's another that's okay:

chip - played with much more of a putting stroke, no wrist hinge, etc.

pitch - wrist hinge/cock

The problem with that definition, as I believe Utley points out, is that I can pitch a ball to a green sloping away from me and it can roll 3x as far as it flies, and conversely, can chip to a green sloped towards me and it can stop really quickly and fly a relatively long distance.

Thus regardless of the motion made, not only could the angle at which the green sits change whether you're "pitching" or "chipping" but so too could green speeds - faster greens would make everything lean towards "chip" despite the motion made.

That's why I've never liked that definition.



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Id say thats a pitch.  Its easy to tell the difference between the 2: a chip flies a short distance and rolls a longer distance, a pitch flies a longer distance and rolls a short distance.

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Originally Posted by TitleistWI

Id say thats a pitch.  Its easy to tell the difference between the 2: a chip flies a short distance and rolls a longer distance, a pitch flies a longer distance and rolls a short distance.


Already responded to this idea. Green speeds and slopes. See above.

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I think that the best definition of a chip vs. pitch is the carry distance to the target.  A pitch is higher and carries 2/3rds the distance to your target, a chip is a lower shot that carries 1/3rds the distance to your target.  And this really only applies to amateur golfers because you are just trying to get as close to a flag as possible.  After that you need to start thinking about lie and spin and a lot of other components.  For instance if you have a uphill tier right behind the flag you may try to pitch the shot with a lot of backspin, fly past the flag, hit the hill and back into the flag.  If you have a flag on top of an uphill tier you would change to a chip and try to drive the ball with a lower angle into the hill and check up and roll easily to the flag, where as if you tried to pitch it and came up short you would end up putting from the wrong tier.  So remember for higher handicap players it is about distance and carry to the stick.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jasonm33

I think that the best definition of a chip vs. pitch is the carry distance to the target.  A pitch is higher and carries 2/3rds the distance to your target, a chip is a lower shot that carries 1/3rds the distance to your target.  And this really only applies to amateur golfers because you are just trying to get as close to a flag as possible.  After that you need to start thinking about lie and spin and a lot of other components.  For instance if you have a uphill tier right behind the flag you may try to pitch the shot with a lot of backspin, fly past the flag, hit the hill and back into the flag.  If you have a flag on top of an uphill tier you would change to a chip and try to drive the ball with a lower angle into the hill and check up and roll easily to the flag, where as if you tried to pitch it and came up short you would end up putting from the wrong tier.  So remember for higher handicap players it is about distance and carry to the stick.

See below for possible issues with how you are defining it.

The problem with that definition, as I believe Utley points out, is that I can pitch a ball to a green sloping away from me and it can roll 3x as far as it flies, and conversely, can chip to a green sloped towards me and it can stop really quickly and fly a relatively long distance.

Thus regardless of the motion made, not only could the angle at which the green sits change whether you're "pitching" or "chipping" but so too could green speeds - faster greens would make everything lean towards "chip" despite the motion made.

That's why I've never liked that definition.

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I agree with Iacas. Is all in the wrists. Pitches are usually farther but i can pitch a ball from right beside the green only a few feet and I can chip a ball 100 feet from the pin. It's what I do with my wrists (which generally goes hand-in-hand with the above discussion of the leading edge and bounce). So in baseball, if the guy on the mound doesn't break his wrists, he's called a chipper.
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I do this too, I just call it a pitch-chip. To me a pitch is one variety of chipping, The use of bounce vs leading edge distinguishes a lobbing vs chipping techniques I feel a pitch is more related to chipping than lobbing techniques.
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