The Lesson Tee……..
By Director of Instruction, Andy Scott School of Golf

Decision making skills around the green:

One of the toughest things to deal with on the golf course is deciding when it would be wise to hit a chip or better to hit a pitch. Before we can become skilled with our decision making we must first know the difference between a chip and a pitch.

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Chipping: This is a one-lever stroke (no wrist), that mirrors a putting stroke. A good picture of this shot is a shot with very little air time, and maximum ground time when the ball is moving. It gets on the ground very quickly and rolls out to the hole.

Pitching: This is a two-lever stroke (wrist allowed to break) that mirrors a mini golf swing. A good picture of this shot is a shot with more air time than ground time while it is moving. The ball will have a high trajectory allowing the ball to land softly on the ground with little roll.

The best way to become a highly skilled decision maker is to be aware of what is in front of you and know which shot gives you the best chance to get it closer to the hole. Remember the chip shot is a much easier shot to pull off between the two because of a smaller swing and less moving parts with a one lever motion. If there is a chance to use a chip shot always use it first over a pitch shot.

Take a look first to see if it is possible for you to get the ball on the ground quickly and rolling to the hole or if you are forced to carry the ball in the air. You will be very surprised how many times you can roll the ball to the hole and not have to carry it. Don’t be scared to use you imagination a little. You can use any club in your bag to accomplish your task from a hybrid to a sand wedge.

Here are a couple of examples:

Chip Shot: For instance you might have 30 yards to the hole and have fairway between your ball and the hole. You would then have the opportunity to get the ball on the ground quickly and roll it up on to the green near the hole by using a 5 iron or 6 iron with a putting motion chip shot.

Pitch Shot: On the other hand you might have 30 yards to the hole and have a bunker between your ball and the green. In this scenario you will be forced to carry the ball in the air over the bunker on to the green with a pitch shot.

Until next time……see you on the lesson tee.