Pitching is an essential part of the game of golf that can make or break a golfer’s scorecard. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, mastering the art of pitching can greatly improve your short game. In this article, we will explore the nuances of pitching in different scenarios and provide five tips to help you improve your pitching game.
Practice Perfect Technique
A bad short game can quickly hurt your scorecard. Gears touts the most powerful, precise, golf swing motion capture system in the world and our users are frequently awestruck by the clarity and practicality of our analytics. With our system you can not only compare your motions with a pro’s, but you can enjoy a glorious 3D rendering of every angle and speed of your body movement so you know exactly where you can improve your pitching technique.
Phases of a Pitch Shot
There are three phases of the swing during a pitch shot: the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through.
- Backswing: Start by setting up with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your weight distributed evenly between your feet. Take the club back slowly and keep your arms straight.
- Downswing: Begin the downswing by turning your hips and shoulders towards the target. Keep your hands low and lead with your hips. As you approach impact, make sure your weight is on your front foot.
- Follow-through: After impact, continue to rotate your hips and shoulders towards the target. Allow your arms and club to follow through naturally.
What is a Pitch Shot and When Should You Hit It?
Pitching is a shot that is typically used when the golfer is further away from the green and needs to get the ball to stop quickly. The goal of pitching is to get the ball to land on the green and roll as little as possible. When you should hit a pitch shot depends on the distance you are from the green and the condition of the ground between you and the green. Generally, if the ball is more than 20 yards from the hole, you should use a different club, such as a pitching wedge.
Pitching is optimal for different scenarios. For example, when pitching to an elevated green, the ball will tend to fly higher and roll less than when pitching to a flat green. Similarly, when pitching to a sloped green, the ball will tend to roll more in the direction of the slope. Understanding these nuances will help you make the necessary adjustments to your shot and improve your pitching accuracy.
It’s important to adjust your technique based on the situation. For example, if the ball is sitting up in the rough, you’ll need to take a more aggressive swing to get the ball out. If the ball is sitting down in a bunker, you’ll need to use a more delicate touch to avoid hitting the ball too hard.
10 Tips to Improve Your Pitching
A few technical tweaks and make a whole lot of difference by your next round on the course. Here are 10 surefire tips that yield real improvement:
- Practice your stance: A proper stance is crucial for a good pitch shot. Stand square to your target and keep your feet close together. Your weight should be slightly forward, and your hands should be slightly ahead of the ball.
- Use the right club: Choosing the right club for the shot is important. The pitching wedge is the most common club used for pitching, but other wedges such as the gap wedge or sand wedge can also be used depending on the distance and situation.
- Focus on clubface angle: The angle of the clubface at impact will greatly affect the outcome of your shot. Make sure the clubface is square to your target at impact.
- Use your body: Your body plays an important role in generating power and control in a pitch shot. Rotate your body during the downswing to help generate power and control.
- Practice, practice, practice: The most important tip for improving your pitching game is to practice. Take the time to practice different types of pitch shots and focus on proper technique.
- Master the art of trajectory control: The ability to control the trajectory of your pitches will allow you to hit the ball high, low, or straight as required, depending on the situation.
- Learn to control your spin: Spin is important for pitch shots because it determines how much the ball will move after it lands. A high spin rate will cause the ball to stop quickly, whereas a low spin rate will cause the ball to roll more.
- Try different ball positions: Experiment with different ball positions in your stance to see which one works best for you. Some players prefer to play the ball off the front foot, while others prefer to play it off the middle of the stance.
- Use your wedges: In addition to the pitching wedge, consider practicing with your gap and sand wedges. They have different lofts and can be useful in different situations.
- Visualize the shot: Before hitting your pitch shot, take a moment to visualize the shot in your mind. Imagine the trajectory of the ball, the spin, and where it will land on the green. This will help you to focus and execute your shot with precision.
5 Drills to Master the Perfect Pitch
Good technique should be reinforced by good practice. Next time you’re at the range, give these drills a try:
- The “Clock Drill”: This drill helps you to focus on different parts of the green, by hitting chips at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.
- The “Ladder Drill”: This drill helps you to work on your consistency by hitting a series of chips with increasing distance.
- The “High-Low Drill”: This drill helps you to work on your distance control by hitting chips with varying heights.
- The “Bunker Drill”: This drill helps you to improve your bunker shots by practicing hitting chips out of the sand.
- The “Target Drill”: This drill helps you to work on your accuracy by hitting chips at a specific target on the green.
Pitching is certainly a fundamental part of your game. Too many amateur golfers tout a spectacular drive followed by average fairway, and a sub-par pitching and putting game. Put in the work and we promise you’ll see results!