Difference between pitching and chipping

Many of my pupils ask me about the difference between chips and pitches.

My answer relates to the technique and here’s a simple way to visualise and remember the difference in both movements.

When chipping you should hinge your wrists as you take the club back.

Then as you drive the club through the ball, rotate your body, holding that angle in the wrists. This is called the ‘hinge and hold’ chipping technique.

When pitching, the hinge of the wrists on the way back is teamed with a folding of the right elbow. This allows the club to go back a little further, generating the speed you need for a pitch shot.

With this as the primary source of power, your distance control will be far more consistent, rather than varying the length of the arm swing.

But, just as with the chip, hold the angle in your wrists as you rotate your upper body through the shot. This is called the ‘fold and hold’ pitching technique.

Use these methods to chip and pitch with and you’ll find that your consistency of strike and distance control will both improve.

Practice both techniques with a range of clubs to learn how far each one rolls out, given a certain carry distance.

Hold the hinge in your wrists through impact. Let your right elbow fold to create a little extra clubhead speed.

By having a varied repertoire of different types of shots and techniques you can use around the green, you’ll be better equipped to get up and down from a whole variety of lies and situations.

 Guard against this!

Make sure that you use the hinge in your wrists to create the clubhead speed required. Creating speed purely through the length of your arm swing will destroy your distance control.

Shot on location at Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Turkey by Tom Miles