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Improve Your Short Game With Effective Chipping and Pitching Drills

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chipping and pitching drills

Chipping and pitching are crucial skills for any golfer looking to improve their game. These short game shots can make or break a round, and mastering them requires practice and dedication. In this article, I will share some of the best chipping and pitching drills that will help you develop a tour-level short game.

Before diving into the drills, it’s important to understand the basics of chipping and pitching. Chipping is a low-flying shot that rolls more than it flies, while pitching is a higher, softer shot that stops more quickly on the green. Both shots require a different technique and club selection, and mastering them will help you get up and down from around the green more often.

To get started with chipping and pitching, you will need a few pieces of equipment, including a wedge, a golf ball, and a practice green. As you progress, you may want to invest in a hula hoop or other training aids to help you refine your technique. With the right equipment and technique, you can start practicing these drills to improve your short game and lower your scores.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the basics of chipping and pitching is crucial for improving your short game.
  • You will need a wedge, golf ball, and practice green to get started with chipping and pitching.
  • Consistent practice with drills and training aids can help you develop a tour-level short game.

Understanding Chipping and Pitching

Chipping and pitching are two essential skills in golf that every golfer must master. These shots are used to get the ball closer to the hole when the golfer is too far away to putt. Chipping and pitching require different techniques and clubs, and understanding the differences between them is crucial to improve your game.

When chipping, the ball is usually close to the green, and the goal is to get the ball rolling on the green as soon as possible. Chipping requires a low-trajectory shot with minimal wrist action. The club selection is essential when chipping, and golfers usually use a pitching wedge or a 9-iron for this shot.

Pitching, on the other hand, is used when the ball is farther away from the green, and the golfer needs to get the ball in the air for a longer distance. Pitching requires more power and lift for a high-trajectory shot that lands softly on the green. Golfers usually use a sand wedge or a lob wedge for pitching shots.

When practicing chipping and pitching, it’s essential to focus on the fundamentals, such as grip, stance, and alignment. It’s also crucial to practice different shots from different lies, such as uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies.

Here are some tips to improve your chipping and pitching:

  • Keep your weight on your front foot for better ball contact
  • Use a descending blow for a crisp contact and better control
  • Practice your distance control by hitting shots to different targets
  • Use your body rotation to generate power and accuracy
  • Experiment with different clubs and shots to find what works best for you

By understanding the differences between chipping and pitching and practicing the fundamentals, you can improve your short game and lower your scores on the course.

Equipment Needed

As with any sport, having the right equipment is essential to success. When it comes to chipping and pitching drills, there are a few key pieces of equipment that you will need.

Choosing the Right Club

One of the most important pieces of equipment for chipping and pitching is the club that you use. When selecting a club, it is important to consider the distance that you need to hit the ball, as well as the type of shot that you want to make.

For chipping, a wedge is typically the best choice. Wedges come in a variety of lofts, so it is important to choose the right one for the shot that you want to make. A higher loft will produce a higher ball flight, while a lower loft will produce a lower ball flight.

For pitching, a pitching wedge or sand wedge is typically the best choice. Again, it is important to choose the right loft for the shot that you want to make.

Golf Balls for Practice

Another important piece of equipment for chipping and pitching drills is the golf ball that you use. When practicing, it is a good idea to use a softer ball, as these will provide more feedback on your shots.

Some good options for practice balls include the Titleist Pro V1, the Bridgestone Tour B RXS, and the Callaway Chrome Soft. These balls are all designed to provide excellent feel and feedback, making them ideal for chipping and pitching drills.

In addition to using the right ball, it is also important to use a consistent ball throughout your practice session. This will help you to develop a better feel for the ball and improve your consistency on the course.

Having the right equipment is essential to success in chipping and pitching drills. By choosing the right club and using the right ball, you can improve your technique and develop a more consistent short game.

Basic Techniques

As a golfer, it is essential to master the basics of chipping and pitching. These two techniques are the foundation of a good short game and can significantly improve your overall performance. In this section, I will cover the basics of chipping and pitching.

Chipping Basics

Chipping is a technique used when you are close to the green, and you need to get the ball onto the putting surface. Here are some basic chipping techniques:

  • Use a wedge with a loft of 52 to 56 degrees.
  • Play the ball in the center of your stance.
  • Get your weight forward so that your left shoulder is over your left foot.
  • Keep your hands ahead of the ball at impact.
  • Use a short, controlled swing to hit the ball.

Remember to keep your head still and your eyes on the ball throughout the shot. Also, be sure to maintain a consistent tempo and rhythm.

Pitching Basics

Pitching is a technique used when you are farther away from the green and need to get the ball close to the hole. Here are some basic pitching techniques:

  • Use a wedge with a loft of 56 to 60 degrees.
  • Play the ball slightly forward in your stance.
  • Get your weight forward so that your left shoulder is over your left foot.
  • Use a longer, more fluid swing to generate more power.
  • Keep your hands ahead of the ball at impact.

When pitching, it is essential to make sure that you take a divot after the ball to create spin and control. Also, make sure to maintain a consistent tempo and rhythm throughout the swing.

By mastering these basic chipping and pitching techniques, you can significantly improve your short game and lower your scores.

chipping and pitching drills

Chipping and Pitching Drills

If you’re looking to take your chipping and pitching game to the next level, there are several advanced drills you can incorporate into your practice routine. These drills will help you improve your accuracy, distance control, and bunker play.

Improving Accuracy

One effective drill for improving accuracy is to set up a target and practice hitting chips and pitches to that target from varying distances. You can use a hula hoop, a bucket, or even a towel as your target. Start with shorter distances and gradually work your way up to longer shots. Focus on hitting the ball solidly and landing it as close to the target as possible.

Another drill that can help improve accuracy is to practice hitting chips and pitches with your non-dominant hand. This will force you to focus on your technique and help you develop a more consistent swing.

Distance Control

Distance control is crucial when it comes to chipping and pitching. One drill that can help you improve your distance control is to practice hitting chips and pitches to different distances without changing your swing. Set up targets at different distances and focus on hitting the ball the same way each time. This will help you develop a feel for how far the ball will travel with different swings.

Another effective drill for improving distance control is to practice hitting chips and pitches with different clubs. Use your sand wedge, pitching wedge, and even your 9-iron to hit shots to different distances. This will help you develop a better understanding of how each club will affect the distance and trajectory of your shots.

Bunker Play

Bunker shots can be some of the most challenging shots in golf, but with the right practice, you can improve your bunker play. One drill that can help you become more comfortable in the sand is to practice hitting bunker shots with your eyes closed. This will help you develop a better feel for the sand and help you make more consistent contact with the ball.

Another effective drill for improving bunker play is to practice hitting bunker shots with a variety of different lies. Set up shots with a buried lie, a fluffy lie, and a tight lie and practice hitting each shot. This will help you develop a better understanding of how to adjust your swing for different lies and conditions.

By incorporating these advanced drills into your practice routine, you can take your chipping and pitching game to the next level and become a more confident and consistent player around the greens.

Practice Routines

When it comes to chipping and pitching, having a good practice routine is essential to improve your skills and lower your scores. Here are a few practice routines that I find helpful:

Routine 1: The 5-Ball Drill

This is a simple yet effective drill that helps you focus on your chipping accuracy. Place five balls around the green, each at a different distance. Start with the closest ball and chip it onto the green. If you get it within a certain distance (say, three feet), move on to the next ball. If you miss, keep practicing until you get it right. Repeat the process with the remaining balls.

Routine 2: The Ladder Drill

The ladder drill is a great way to improve your pitching distance control. Place six balls at equal intervals, starting from a short distance and gradually increasing the distance with each ball. Pitch the first ball and try to get it as close to the target as possible. If you succeed, move on to the next ball. If you miss, keep practicing until you get it right. Repeat the process with the remaining balls.

Routine 3: The Clock Drill

The clock drill is a fun and challenging way to improve your chipping accuracy and distance control. Imagine the hole is at the center of a clock face, and place six balls at different distances around the clock. Try to chip each ball onto the green and get it as close to the target as possible. The goal is to get all six balls within a certain distance (say, six feet) of the hole.

Routine 4: The Three-Club Challenge

The three-club challenge is a great way to improve your creativity and shot-making skills. Choose three different clubs (say, a wedge, a 7-iron, and a hybrid) and try to chip and pitch your way around the green using only those clubs. The challenge is to get up and down from different lies and distances using only those three clubs.

By incorporating these practice routines into your training regimen, you can develop your chipping and pitching skills and become a more confident and consistent player around the greens.

Bonus Tip – For the most comprehensive guide on chipping, including flop shots, bump and runs, and bunker shots, see our golf chipping page and chipping vs pitching page.

Conclusion

Practicing chipping and pitching drills is essential to improve your short game and lower your scores. By working on your technique and developing a consistent stroke, you can become more confident around the greens and save valuable strokes during your rounds.

Throughout this article, I have shared some of the best chipping and pitching drills used by professionals and amateurs alike. These drills focus on different aspects of the short game, from distance control to accuracy, and can help you improve your skills in a short amount of time.

Remember that consistency is key when it comes to chipping and pitching. By practicing these drills regularly, you can develop muscle memory and build confidence in your stroke. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different clubs and techniques to find what works best for you.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that chipping and pitching are not just about technique, but also about strategy. Knowing when to play a low chip shot or a high pitch shot can make all the difference in your score. Take the time to assess the situation and choose the shot that will give you the best chance of success.

Chipping and pitching are critical skills for any golfer looking to improve their game. With practice, patience, and the right mindset, you can become a master of the short game and take your golf to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some indoor chipping practice drills?

When the weather is not suitable for outdoor practice, there are still plenty of ways to improve your chipping skills indoors. One simple drill is to use a small target, such as a cup or a hula hoop, and practice chipping balls towards it from various distances. Another great indoor drill is to use a putting mat and practice chipping onto it from different angles and distances.

What are the best chipping practice drills for distance control?

Distance control is a crucial aspect of chipping, and there are several drills that can help improve it. One effective drill is to set up a series of targets at different distances and practice chipping balls towards them using different clubs. Another useful drill is to use a towel or a string as a target and practice chipping balls to land on it from various distances.

What are some chipping drills for consistency?

Consistency is key when it comes to chipping, and there are many drills that can help improve it. One simple drill is to use a small target, such as a coin or a bottle cap, and practice chipping balls towards it from various distances. Another effective drill is to use a mirror and practice chipping while watching your swing and making adjustments as needed.

What are some golf pitching drills to improve accuracy?

Pitching accuracy is essential for getting the ball close to the pin, and there are several drills that can help improve it. One drill is to use a small target, such as a bucket or a cone, and practice pitching balls towards it from various distances. Another useful drill is to practice hitting half and three-quarter shots, which can help improve control and accuracy.

What are some chipping drills for beginners?

If you’re new to golf or just starting to work on your chipping skills, there are several drills that can help you get started. One simple drill is to use a small target, such as a cup or a bucket, and practice chipping balls towards it from a short distance. Another great drill is to use a tee and practice chipping balls over it from various distances.

What are some fun chipping practice games?

Chipping practice doesn’t have to be boring, and there are several fun games you can play to improve your skills. One popular game is to set up a series of targets at different distances and try to hit them in order, similar to a game of H-O-R-S-E in basketball. Another fun game is to use a partner and take turns trying to chip balls into a small target, with points awarded for accuracy and distance.

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AUTHOR

Tommy is a confirmed golf fanatic. He's been playing golf for 20 years and just loves everything about the game. His dad used to play golf a lot and watch the PGA and European Tours, so Tommy started watching too. Now he knows a lot about golf and loves to coach people and help them play better.

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