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Question on Pitching:

Actually my game around the greens has been o.k. I just don't know what to look for to decide if I should pitch or chip. What factors determine that decision? When should I pitch and run or pitch up close to the pin?
--Gus G. from San Antonio, TX

Hi Gus. Thanks for writing MyGolfInstructor.com.

The decision to chip or pitch the ball is purely up to the player and of course the situation at hand. Typically most think of a pitch as a higher trajectory shot with less roll. Think 2/3 carry 1/3 roll. Whereas a chip is the opposite. It is a lower trajectory shot with a lot of roll. Think 1/3 carry 2/3 roll. There is no exact formula this is just meant to give you an idea.

Then general rule is to keep the ball on the ground when you can and if you can't hit a low trajectory and get it on the ground as soon as possible. The green is your friend. You can use the slopes and breaks to feed your ball down to the hole. When you fly the ball you are dealing with wind, bounce, spin, etc. That's why they say putt it when you can. In my opinion if you can't putt then chip it and if you can't chip, then hit a pitch shot.

Also, the running shot is much easier and has a higher success rate for higher handicappers. If a skilled player has a lot of control over the flight of their ball and the spin they put on it and would rather pitch it then that's o.k.. In the end there are no rules in the short game. The best short game players are highly creative and make up shots as they go. You need to hit the shot you are most comfortable with and can control especially if you are playing competition.

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions please let me know.

Thanks.

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