Step-by-step guide to pitching:
1) Lining up
In the 50-yard pitch, let’s say for example I’ve got a dip to go over and the pin is set back a bit, so I’m looking to pitch it about 10 yards on to the green. I’m using my 58˚ wedge, but you may find lower lofts give you better consistency for your game, i.e. a 56,54 or even 52˚ wedge.
You need to choose both target and landing zone before playing a pitch
First, you need to pick your target line allowing for any break on the green, in this example very little, so my target line is at the flag. That can, of course, vary, so look from behind the ball and pick out a point on your line where you want to land it. Then adopt your address position and square your clubface up to that point.
Narrow the stance down slightly compared to a full swing, and adjust your feet and hips so they are slightly open to the target line. This pre-sets them in the desired impact position, because on short shots like this you don’t have as much time to rotate the hips through the ball.
Place about 65% of your weight on your front foot at address to help the club bottom out after the ball rather than before. Ball position should be slightly back of centre, but if you want to vary the flight a little and hit it lower, you can move it slightly further back.
Pitching distance is very much controlled by swing length, so look to get your left arm into the 9 o’clock position for a 50-yard pitch – parallel to the ground. Try to create an “L position” with your club and arm (as seen in the picture below). This should give you the momentum you need to generate sufficient clubhead speed.
It’s then all about commitment and keeping the rhythm smooth so the club can bottom out in its arc just after the ball. Any hint of rushing or decelerating will throw everything out, so make sure you commit to the golf shot.
4) Landing point drill
To really improve your distance control from 50 yards, as part of this guide to pitching. Use this drill to hone your skills. Set up a reasonably generous circle of tees between the pin and the edge of the green. In this example, I’m using my 58˚ wedge here, which should generate some spin before then releasing out, so I’ve set my circle quite close to the hole. You can vary this according to how you prefer to play your pitch shots. (As seen in the picture below)
Try and land the ball within the circle of tees to really focus your mind, the ball will then release and roll up to the flag.
A lot of players understand what they should be doing when pitching, but forget about the landing point. This drill really gets your mind thinking about your landing point. A really important part of this guide to pitching and it will help you judge your pitching carry distances much better.
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