The #1 Difference Between Chipping and Pitching

The #1 Difference Between Chipping and Pitching

You hear the words chip and pitch as terms you use for shots around the green. What is the difference between chips and pitches?

Chip Shots vs. Pitch Shots

One description is a chip shot has a little amount of air time and a lot of roll, while a pitch has more air time and very little roll. Another way to describe it is that a chip is usually a one lever shot, like this, in other words from my shoulder to the end of the club is a single lever, a single line, and it stays that way throughout the shot.

One Lever Stroke

When you have a simple little shot like this, you are just off the green and you are trying to roll it to the hole there, it is a one lever stroke. You do not need to have a second lever to get either height or distance. This is what the basic chip shot looks like, just getting it up there around the hole where we can make sure we get it down in one putt.

A pitch shot, that was an 8-iron, I am taking a 60 degree here, a pitch shot is going to add another lever, it goes a little like this. When we take it back we cock the wrists just a little bit for the distance here. If it is a longer shot we would cock more. But I am going to make a second lever here as I take it back.

Here is the important part; although I cock my wrists on the way back, when I come through I come through just as I do on the single lever. You see the finish on the single lever, now watch the finish on the two lever swing; it comes to the same spot. In other words we don't break the hands down. This is the two lever swing. That is what we are looking for in the two lever.

Category: Chipping
Sub-Category: Short Game, Swing Mechanics
About the Instructor
Gary Wiren
Gary Wiren
Trump International Golf Club
3505 Summit Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL. 33406
Tel: 800-FOR-GARY
Tel: 800-367-4267

Dr. Gary Wiren was the PGA Teacher of the Year in 1987 and is also author of the PGA Teaching Manual. He is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and Golf Digest's #12 instructor in the world.


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