Pitch It Close Every Time

1) Pitch It Close Every Time

Forget about those booming drives. If you can’t pitch it close, you’ll never go low. Ask any pro. But some weekend golfers hit short pitches because they don’t know how to control the distance of their shots. So from 30 yards, they’re vulnerable. If your pitch shots fall short or fly too long, you maybe using the same swing for every pitch or you consider the pitch swing the same as a small full swing.

Neither method works. Below is an alternative to these methods:

1. Set the club early in the backswing

2. Then turn all the way through

3. Hold your finish at backswing height

4. Open the face for high pitches

5. Close the face for lower pitches

The set and hold method encourages consistent contact and consistent distance control—exactly what you need to pitch it close. Follow these steps: Take the club back as you normally do, but hinge your wrists early in the process. For a 30-yard pitch, that’s about hip high.

Once you’ve done that, commit to accelerating through the ball. Not accelerating through the ball is a common pitching mistake. Keep the angle between the clubshaft and your front forearm. Then, use your body to do the rest. For a high pitch shot, play the ball forward in your stance and open the clubface the appropriate distance. Aim a few feet to the left of your target (right for left-handers).

For a lower pitch shot, play the ball toward your back foot and close the clubface down a few degrees. Aim a few feet to the right of your target. The set and hold technique gives you a consistent, predictable shot. You don’t need to release or use a lot of arms. Practice the shot from about 30 yards out and before you know it, you’ll be pitching it close almost every time.

2) Punch It Out From The Trees

Here’s the situation: You’ve just shanked one deep into the trees. There’s a gap on a line with the green, with just enough room to squeeze through without too much risk. But you’ll need to hit a shot that flies low to avoid the overhanging branches, doesn’t spin so it won’t rise, and releases once it hits the fairway.

Here are five keys to hitting this shot:

1. Select a club you have confidence in

2. Play the ball just back of center

3. Take a short flat backswing

4. Make sure your left wrist faces the ground

5. Finish with the club pointing left of target Keep one thing in mind when sizing up this shot.

The farther the gap is from you, the wider it must be. Otherwise, you won’t make it through. Every yard the ball moves it will go offline. Select a club you have confidence in. Some players use a long iron. Others, use a hybrid. Use whichever club you can control the best, since you’ll need to stay beneath the overhang. Playing the ball just back of center in your stance will help keep the ball low.

To reduce spin, make a short flat backswing. Keep the shaft below your right shoulder (left for left-handers) when you go back. And try to swing the club a little behind you. To make it run once it hits the fairway, make an aggressive release. The back of your left wrist should face the ground, with the club pointing left of your target (right for right-handers).

Actually, you can use this shot whenever you need to keep the ball low and you want to run it to your target. It’s also an option when you slice everything you hit. It will keep the ball straight and low.

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