A common question I always get about the short game is, should I chip or should I pitch?
First let’s get a clear understanding of what each one is.
Chipping is a shot with minimum air and maximum roll. It is typically hit with a multitude of clubs from a hybrid up to a pitching wedge.
Pitching is a shot with maximum air and minimum roll. It is typically hit with a pitching wedge, sand wedge or a lob wedge.
That being said, my answer to the original question is to putt. If you can putt the ball, always do so. If you cannot putt the ball due to longer grass or some sort of impediment, then chip the ball. If you cannot chip the ball due to a bunker, long grass or a short-sided pin, then you pitch the ball.
To put this in simple terms, keeping the ball low to the ground is almost always your best option with least amount of issues that can arise.
If you’re struggling around the greens, try these ideas as far as choosing the right shot to hit and I know you will save a few shots. If you need assistance on the technique, see your local PGA Professional for a private lesson.
Matt Stottern is the PGA Director of Instruction at the Peninsula State Park Golf Course. He is also the Director of the John Jacobs Golf School at the same location. He has more than 20 years teaching golf and teaches golfers of all ages and abilities. He spends the winter months teaching golf schools and private lessons in Arizona. He can be contacted at 480.620.5395 or [email protected]