The game of golf can be broken down into two elements: the long game and the short game. In the short game, the skills needed are more finesse-related due to the need for accuracy.
If the golfer is within reasonable striking distance of the green with the ball located on the fairway, the short game now comes into play. The clubs used are the shorter (higher-numbered) irons since elevation and accuracy are usually more important than distance at this point. The object is to land on the green as close to the hole as possible to facilitate putting.
Pitching & Chipping
Two important elements of the short game are pitching and chipping. Pitching is necessary when a player runs into a difficult situation such as when a ball lands in a bunker. While using a pitching or sand wedge, the player attempts to elevate the ball so it exits the trap and lands back on the course in the most favourable position possible. Chipping is a form of approach shot where the player is close to the green and wants to hit the ball a short distance so that it lands on the green and rolls toward the hole. The shot is made with either a wedge or short iron.
The final element of the short game, and for many players the most difficult to master, is putting. This occurs when the ball is on the green, and requires the use of a short, flat club called a putter. At this point, touch and feel are more important than power, so much practice and knowledge of the slope of the green are important to be successful.