Golf Pitching Drill: Chip to within the 3 Foot Circle

In this golf drill you are going to work on your pitching skills which can save pars and keep your scores lower on golf holes that you miss the green in regulation.

Pitching is one component of the short game and it takes place when you miss a green by several yards. You’ll face a chip shot that has to carry several yards over rough before it finally gets to the green.

This differs from a chip shot where you are right next to the green chipping onto the green without much rough between.

After working on this simple chipping drill, you’ll feel confident anytime you find yourself several yards away from the green needing to pitch it on close to the hole to save par.

Pitching Drill Instructions:

  1. Start off finding a practice hole to chip to
  2. Mark a 3 feet circle around the hole
  3. Pace off 5 yards, 10 yards, 15 yards, and 20 yards away from the fringe
  4. Hit 5 pitch shots from each distance, one group at a time
  5. After you hit your 5 pitch shots from one distance, remove the closest two balls and furthest two balls
  6. The ball that remains is the “average” distance of your 5 pitch shots
  7. The goal is for your average distance to fall inside that 3 foot circle to pass the drill
  8. Move to the next distance and repeat hitting 5 more shots

For this drill, we like to use a training aid to mark the 3 foot circle around the hole. There are chipping rings you can buy on Amazon that lay down on the green. They are very thin so the ball can roll over them without being affected much.

It also works to mark a circle around the hole using multiple ball markers (8-12). Once you’ve drawn your 3 foot circle, you’ll have a target zone to hit your pitch shots into.

Next locate the different distances away from the green’s fringe edge; 5 yards, 10 yards, 15 yards, 20 yards. This helps you practice multiple distances in case you pick the wrong club and leave your shot 15+ yards away from the green on the approach.

Mark each distance by laying down golf balls or dropping a golf club from your bag. The overall distance to the hole will be slightly longer since we are only measuring the distance from the edge of the green / fringe.

Next, analyze the pitch shot and where you think you need to land the ball on the green to account for roll out. With pitch shots, you are carrying the ball a longer distance so it has more speed and therefore more roll usually.

This forces you to learn how to control your chipping distance so you can land the ball on the green early, and let it roll most of the way to the hole.

However, some golf shots can require a higher lofted shot with more backspin you can fly closer to the hole and get it to stop quickly. Decide based on factors like slope of the green, distance between the hole and the edge of the green, as well as your lie in the rough or fairway.

Practice this drill trying to pass each distance by getting at least 3 balls inside the 3 foot circle. This makes your average distance fall within the circle when you remove the two balls closest and two balls furthest from the hole.

Measure your average distance and try to improve it over several weeks of doing this pitching drill. Mark it down on a worksheet like we have in our golf skills test here.

For more chipping drills see the list below! You can also join our email list here for 10 amazing short game drills to practice.

Other Recommended Chipping Drills:

For more, see our full list of the 25 best chipping drills or click on an individual article below we’ve linked.

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Try our step by step golf training plans that give you daily practice routines to complete. Each practice routine has putting drills, chipping drills, and golf swing drills for the driving range. Learn more about each.

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