What’s the difference between a chip shot and a pitch shot? Is it important?
I’m going to answer these in reverse. Yes, It is important. It’s important because once you hear this theory, the short game should become easier for you.
The difference between a chip and a pitch is that the pitch shot flies farther than it rolls, and the chip shot rolls farther than it flies. A chip can travel a longer distance than a pitch. Some places have a lot of slopes and the ground is quite hard. Little chips can roll a VERY long way.
The definition of a chip shot is, “A short game shot that rolls farther than it flies.” The definition of a pitch shot is, “A short game shot that flies farther than it rolls.”
You should ask, “What’s a short game shot?” The short game starts at half the average carry distance of your highest lofted club. I hit my 58-degree wedge 100 yards, so the short game for me is 50 yards and in. Easy enough.
Now we’ve defined chip, pitch, and short game. Now, for the sake of your understanding of technique, we’re going to stop saying, “chip,” and, “pitch,” once and for all, and we’re going to start saying, “short game shot,” instead.
If the person you’re speaking with needs more details, you can describe how the ball got to its destination. But for the sake of your understanding of technique, they’re the same swing, usually performed with different clubs, but your environment can also turn chips into pitches and pitches into chips. So what’s the point? They’re all finesse shots NOT hit with a putter.
The difference between a simple stock pitch and a simple stock chip is NOT related to technique. We don’t call the stroke used to hit a 50-foot putt something different than the stroke used to hit a 10-foot putt, and we don’t call a golf swing with a nine iron something different than the golf swing with a four iron.
I believe it will harm your game to think you need to hit longer flying short game shots with a different swing than your shorter flying short game shorts. I look forward to breaking down the technique of the short game shot for you in the future. Stay tuned.