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In golf, chipping and pitching are both approaches to short game shots. Which golfers use to move the ball toward the hole from relatively close distances. Despite their similarities, they serve different purposes and involve distinct techniques.
Chipping is typically used when the ball is close to the green but not on it. The goal is to get the ball onto the green and rolling towards the hole with minimal air time and more time rolling on the green. Chippers often use a less lofted club, like a 7 or 8 iron, for this shot. The stance in chipping is narrower, and the swing is more like a putting stroke. Shorter backswing and a limited follow-through. The emphasis is on precision and control rather than power. As the ball only needs to lift slightly off the ground to make it onto the green before it rolls out.
Pitching, on the other hand, is used when the golfer needs to hit the ball over an obstacle. Like a bunker or rough, or when the ball is further from the green. The pitch shot involves a higher trajectory, with the ball spending more time in the air and less time rolling after it lands. Golfers will use a more lofted club, such as a pitching wedge, sand wedge, or lob wedge. The swing is a mini version of the full golf swing with a greater wrist hinge. More significant backswing, and follow-through than in chipping. Pitch shots are about distance control and stopping power, often using the ball’s backspin to halt quickly after landing.
In essence, the main difference lies in the flight and intended roll of the ball after landing. A chip shot has a lower trajectory and runs more upon landing. While a pitch shot has a higher arc, less run. This is used when a golfer faces greater distances or needs to clear obstacles.