20+ Differences Between Chip And Pitch (Explained)

Golf does not seem to be an energetic and fast-paced game like football, basketball, or tennis. Moreover, it can be looked at as a dull sport catering to a higher age demographic. But what it lacks in speed, it excels in accuracy and absolute concentration.

One particular example of this is when the player has to swing the ball to shorter distances. A lot of players find chip shots and pitch shots a bit challenging to pull off. Both shots have their own benefits and are quite nifty if executed right.

Key Differences Between Chip And Pitch

Comparison between Chip Shot And Pitch Shot

ParametersChip ShotPitch Shot
The Overall TrajectoryThe ball makes a short, low arc in the air and then rolls on the ground.The ball makes a higher and longer arc in the air before landing.
Travel on the GroundThe ball travels on the ground more than it does in the air.The ball does not travel much on the ground.
When to UseWhen the ball is near the green area i.e., about 10 to 20 yards away.When the ball is further from the green area i.e., about 50 to 100 yards away.
Crossing the ObstaclesIt is best to avoid using chip shots for getting past bunkers and water zones.Pitch shots are a good option to swing the ball across a bunker or a water zone.
Length of SwingThe swinging arc is shorter because it starts at knee level.The swinging arc is longer because the club is pulled back to the waist level.
Power Generation The shoulder is the main source.The shoulder, the wrist, and the torso are the sources of power.
Shifting the Body WeightThe body weight is at the front foot and stays there.The body weight shifts backward as the golfer turns and then shifts to the front.
Preferred Choice of Clubs7-iron or lower is the best choice of clubs.6-iron or higher is a better choice.

Major Differences Between Chip Shot and Pitch Shot

What Is Chip Shot?

A chip shot in golf is a short-distance move performed by the golfer, mostly at the time when the ball has reached closer to the green area, where the hole lies.

A properly executed chip shot will travel through the air for a short distance and then roll on the ground until it stops.

Chip shots require a stiffer stance because the wrists stay locked and do not angle. The power required for the shot is built through your shoulder. As a result, the swing will be smaller with a shorter arc; hence, it will cover a short distance as required. 

What Is Pitch Shot?

A pitch shot is another shot used by golfers to swing the ball for shorter distances. This shot is mostly used when the ball is not close to the green area where the hole is. A pitch shot will give the ball more air, i.e., travel more in the air and not as much on the ground.

Pitch shots allow more flexibility on the limbs as your shoulder is not the only thing building up the power. It works with your elbow, wrist, and core, and your grip position would be at the waist.

This allows you to build more power and hit the ball with a bigger arc which is instrumental in covering longer distances.

Chip Shot Vs Pitch Shot All You Need To Knowchip Shot Vs Pitch Shot All You Need To Know

Contrast Between Chip Shot And Pitch Shot

The Overall Trajectory

  • Chip Shot- A golf ball struck with a chip would travel in the air but closer to the ground. It further continues to roll on the ground. The arc of the trajectory is lower than that of a pitch.
  • Pitch Shot- A pitch shot allows the ball to travel a longer distance in the air and higher from the ground. The ball does not roll as much as it does in a chip shot. Hence the trajectory of the ball would be a higher arc.

Travel On The Ground

  • Chip Shot- Chip shots are meant to be more controlled and precise. While the short aerial distance gives it the speed, it’s the rolling on the ground that makes the difference. A chip shot travels more on the ground than in the air.
  • Pitch Shot- Pitch shots need to be controlled as well, but less precise than a chip shot. The ball travels more in the air and less on the ground. This is because a properly performed pitch shot would allow the ball to cover more distance by being in the air.

When To Use

  • Chip Shot- A chip shot is performed when the ball is closer to the green zone. The trajectory allows the ball to not get overshot, and if the ball lands a bit farther, it can cover some distance on the ground. A chip shot is the best option if the ball is about 10 to 20 yards away from the green area.
  • Pitch Shot- A pitch shot is preferably used when the ball still needs to cover some ground until it gets close enough to take a chip shot. If your ball is about 50 to 100 yards away from the green zone, a pitch shot will help in covering that distance.

Crossing The Obstacles

  • Chip Shot- When coming across a bunker or a water zone, a chip shot is not a good option. The distance covered may not always be enough to travel past them.
  • Pitch Shot- A pitch shot is quite effective for getting past a bunker or a water zone. This is because a pitch shot allows the ball to travel higher and longer, thus covering enough distance to get past them.
The Nature Chip Shot Vs Pitch Shot 
  • Chip Shot- The head of the club is at knee level in a chip shot. Because of the stance, the club travels at a shorter arc before making contact with the ball.
  • Pitch Shot- The head of the club starts off from the waist level. This means that the club would travel longer before making contact with the ball; thus, the arc of the swing will be longer.

Power Generation

  • Chip Shot- Chip shots require less power. The majority of power is generated from the shoulder because the rest of the upper body is straight and firm. Even the wrists do not flex.
  • Pitch Shot- Pitch shots require more power. The power is generated from a number of areas which include the shoulder, the wrists, and the torso. The wrist and the elbow flex more in a pitch shot.

Shifting The Body Weight

  • Chip Shot- In a chip shot, the golfer leans a bit towards the ball. The body weight is more at the front foot and stays there while pulling back the club and swinging the ball.
  • Pitch Shot- In a pitch shot, the golfer has to pull back the club a bit more. Since the golfer twists his body in this stance, the body weight shifts slightly backward and moves forward. This shifting of weight, along with a longer arc, builds more momentum, and the ball travels longer.

The Preferred Type Of Club

  • Chip Shot- The choice of club for a chip shot would be from a 7-iron to as low as a pitching wedge or a sand wedge.
  • Pitch Shot- For a pitch shot, the golfers prefer to use a lofted club that has more incline. So the choice would be a 6-iron or higher than that.
The Stance Chip Shot Vs Pitch Shot 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. While chipping, is it necessary to straighten the left arm?

Yes. The left arm(for right-handers) does the job of controlling the club and the swing. The right arm that generates power also needs to be straight.

From your shoulders to your grip, the outline would be an inverted triangle which is a good position for this shot.

Q2. Is choking down fine when taking a chip shot or a pitch shot?

Choking down, that is, gripping the club lower, is fine for a chip shot. As you get close to the green area, your shots need a lot more control.

Choking down could help you with that. For the pitch shot, you will require more body of the club for a good swing. So choking won’t help here.

Q3. What is meant by a fat shot?

A fat shot happens when a golfer strikes the ground before making contact with the ball. The grass and the soil reduce the force built, and the ball does not get far enough.

Q4. What is meant by a thin shot in golf?

The club needs to make contact with the ball from the face. A thin shot happens when the club is slightly higher in such a way the edge touches the ball. The place of contact would generally be around the middle of the ball.

Q5. Is pitch shot more difficult to learn than chip shot?

Yes. While both shots are challenging, a chip shot is easier to learn because of a consistent stance.

On the other hand, pitch shots have a lot of room for error because of the length of the swing and lack of technique. This is why pitch shots can be more difficult to learn.

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