Hitting soft landing pitch shots that roll and stop right next to the hole is a technique that golfers of all skill levels can learn to execute. The most elite players can control ball flight into the greens which allows them to pull off almost any type of pitch shot you can imagine. On the other hand, the average amateur usually owns only one type of shot: the bump and run or some variation of it. Let’s look at another way to add loft to your shot with ease.
1. Pitch it Like you Putt it
First, take your putter and take some practice strokes to send the ball from one side of the putting green to the other. You will notice that your body does not lose its posture, nor do you get very active with your wrists. The idea is to feel this big and quiet putting stroke with a wedge in your hand.
2. To Pitch Put the Ball in the Middle of your Stance
Setting the ball towards the middle of your stance when you pitch rather than the back of your stance will allow the bounce of the club to slide under the ball which is what is needed for a high and soft shot. Initially, your misses will be heavy or thin simply because you haven’t been keeping your posture but after a few practice shots, you will get comfortable with it.
3. Shallow Shoulders When you Pitch
Keeping the shoulders parallel to the ground will help to eliminate excessive forward pressing. The key is to let the club slide under the ball, not jab into it. Remember, with a pitch shot you are trying to keep the swing arc wide versus steep.
4. Don’t be ‘Handsy’ When you Pitch – Just Let it Drop
One good way to keep from getting to “handsy” when you pitch is to check yourself right before you strike the ball. If you have too much wrist hinge, chances are, you will be “handsy” the rest of the swing. If you are straightened out though, you will be in perfect position to return the clubhead back to its original position and turn through the shot with your body.
5. Pivot and Stand When you Pitch
One of the biggest mistakes in golf instruction was when the advice of “keeping your head down” was given to someone. While this advice works for some situations, it doesn’t work so well when it comes to pitch shots because keeping your head down won’t allow the club to swing through freely. Just like you keep the putter in front of you always, make sure to keep the wedge in front of you and use your body to rotate the club. Your finish should look like the butt end of the grip is in line with your belly button.
The biggest challenge for amateurs when they pitch is the idea of creating motion without much wrist action. With good rhythm, you will create plenty of speed to send the ball to where you want it to go.
Remember, pitch it like you putt it!