The chip and run should be the workhorse of your short game. It is the most reliable shot around the green when you can’t putt.
I would estimate that at least 95% of my short game shots (from within 20 yards of the edge of the green) are played with a chip and run technique, and the other 5% is made up of putts from off the green, pitches, and bunker shots.
Getting the ball on the ground and rolling as soon as possible greatly increases the chances of the ball’s behavior being predictable. That is not to say that a chip and run is always very low to the ground; just as low as possible. A chip and run style shot can be played with the most lofted wedge in your bag, in which case some people might refer to the shot as a “pitch and run.”
In many cases where the average golfer tries to pitch the ball up in the air, the “risk vs. reward” and the uncontrollable nature of a pitch (especially from a marginal lie) make it a poor choice.
Short Game General Rules
- Putt whenever you can
- Chip and run when you can’t putt
- Pitch only when you have no choice