Whether it’s better to pitch or chip in golf depends on the specific circumstances of the shot and the desired outcome. Hopefully you’ve already had a chance to review my Chipping vs Pitching post to learn the differences between each.
Both chipping and pitching techniques have their advantages and are useful in different situations. Here are a few factors to consider:
Short-game Shots Depending on Distance
Chipping is generally preferred for shorter distances where the goal is to have the ball roll more upon landing. If you have limited space to work with and want to get the ball close to the hole, a chip shot can be more effective. Chipping is typically used for shots within 30 yards of the green.
Pitching, on the other hand, is suitable for longer distances where you need to carry the ball in the air and have it stop quickly on the green. Pitching is typically used for shots 30 yards and out from the green.
Obstacles Around the Green
If there are obstacles like bunkers, tall grass, or rough between your ball and the green, pitching allows you to hit a higher trajectory shot to clear those obstacles and land the ball softly on the green.
To ensure you can hit these shots, you’ll have to dial back your power shots on the driving range to practice more finesse, short shots to gain a feel for a shorter swing and how far your ball flies depending on your shot type. Your short game is where you’ll save a lot of strokes.
Chipping isn’t necessarily ideal for situations with heavy obstacles since chip shots may not provide enough loft to carry over such obstacles effectively.
Conditions of the Green
The condition of the green can also influence the choice between pitching and chipping. Factors in green conditions could include how thick the fringe is, the slope of the green, the speeds of the green, bunkers, etc. So it’s important that you are able to read the green well before factoring in what type of shot you will use.
If the green is firm, fast, or has slopes and undulations, pitching can be beneficial as it allows for better control of the ball’s descent and minimizes roll after landing.
Chipping, on the other hand, may be more suitable for flatter, slower greens where you feel you can control a rolling ball better.
Personal Skill and Comfort with Your Short Game
Your personal skill level and comfort with each technique can also play a role. Some golfers may feel more confident and consistent with their chipping technique, while others may have a natural inclination towards pitching. It’s essential to practice both techniques and determine which one suits your game better.
You need to feel comfortable with both types of shots in order to have a well-rounded game around the green. You don’t ever want to be in a position where you have to make a pitch shot because you’re more comfortable with pitching when a chip is the better play.
Ultimately, the decision to pitch or chip depends on the specific circumstances of each shot and your own skills and preferences. Being proficient in both techniques will provide you with more options and versatility around the green, allowing you to make the best decision based on the situation at hand.