Golf Chipping & Pitching Instruction

By Patrick Cameron
Pitching and chipping are vital to scoring low and should be a regular part of your practice routine.
Pitching and chipping are vital to scoring low and should be a regular part of your practice routine.

The game of golf is a three-facet game--driving, iron play and the short game. While a bad drive will put you in places you don't want to be, quite often a respectable scorecard comes down to your short game. Chipping and pitching, along with putting, are the disciplines that must be mastered for a solid short game. And, while chipping and pitching have some similarities in approach and swing, they also differ in a number of respects.

Chipping

Put your club down, with your feet together, and line up the shot. You want to have your club in the right position before you step.

Run your grip up the lifeline of your lead hand's palm. The trick is to line up your forearm with your club shaft because you want to keep your lead arm stable, allowing your back arm to power the chip.

Set your stance with the ball just inside the insole of your back foot. You can go as far back as off your big toe on your back foot.

Turn your lead foot slightly toward the hole. A 1- to 2-inch outward turn will suffice. This will give you better stability for the shot.

Bring your hands forward so that they sit just off the front of your lead hip.

Pull your hands back to your back hip and then push through the ball without breaking your wrists. Keep your body and head still and your lead arm stiff.

Pitching

Take the same basic approach as you would with a chip. Line up the shot and then step up to hit the ball.

Hold the club with your lead hand so that you have more finger control. Remember that, with chipping, your lead hand is strictly a guide. In a pitch, your lead hand will help produce power.

Step up to the ball so that it is in the middle of your stance, hands just off your lead hip.

Put 60 percent of your weight on your front foot.

Bring your hands back to your hip, keeping your body and head still. The difference is that, with a pitch, you break your wrists so that when you come back, your club is horizontal. Swing through the ball.

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