Should I Chip Or Pitch?


One question that I am often asked is:  what club should I use around the green for a particular shot.  Which is usually followed by me asking them this:  Do you think you should chip this shot or pitch this shot?  The following are some tips on what you should do in certain situations:

The difference between a pitch and a chip is this:  a chip is where the ball is on the ground longer than it’s in the air, a pitch is the opposite:  the ball is in the air longer than on the ground.

Now, here’s the question:  which do I do when?  There are a number of factors that determine this:

  • Lie-The worse the lie the more you should pitch it.  That usually means using a sand wedge or lob wedge.

  • Space-How much room do you have to land the ball?  Pitch if there’s less room, chip if there’s more room.

  • Landing Area-Determining the flattest part of the green where the ball will roll straight when it lands.  The closer to the pin that is, the more you should pitch, the less you should chip.

The backswing is the only difference between a chip and a pitch.  The backswing in a chip has no wrist cock because you want the ball to run when it hits the green.  The backswing in a pitch has wrist cock because you want to add loft to the shot.

I hope these tips help you decide what to do.  Picking the right shot will get you closer to the hole and help you get up and down.


Mike Fay

Mike Fay

PGA Director of Instruction

With over 30 years of teaching experience, it's easy to see why Mike has become a leader in the world of golf instruction. Everything from cutting edge social networking techniques to having his own podcast, Mike has helped to change the face of teaching golf.  He currently is the Director of Instruction at Walnut Creek Country Club in South Lyon, Michigan.

Email:  [email protected]

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