Consistent Pitching

by Gord Percy, CPGA Teaching Professional

The short pitch is one of the most feared shots in golf and it definitely should not be.  There are TWO key fundamentals in hitting pitch shots that must be adhered to.  Firstly to hit solid pitch shots you must make certain the club is working on the correct path/plane just like a full swing.  Secondly shorter shots require shorter swings & longer shots require longer swings.

With pitch shots you are trying to attain accuracy in terms of distance and direction.  The only way to achieve this consistently your club must be on plane / on the correct path.  This will keep the ball on line and will allow you to have solid contact with each shot, which is essential in developing distance control.

Once your path is corrected you can then work on refining distance control.  Most golfers take too long of a backswing with too much wrist hinge when pitching and then decelerate on the downswing.  Decelerating especially out of the rough leads to short fat shots or overly powerful shots that require another pitch shot coming back.

First work on developing the correct plane with consistency and then work on different length swings with less wrist hinge to develop distance control.  Here is a great drill to develop the correct shape to your pitch shots.

SHAFT PLANE DRILL

Firstly lay a club/shaft on the ground off your back foot at the end of your shoelaces that is parallel to your target line (like a railway track).  Secondly stick an umbrella/or broken shaft on the same line about two feet away from you.  Do some practice swings and check to make sure that when the club is at waist height it is over the shaft on the ground and outside but close to the umbrella (note-also make sure toe of club is pointing upwards).  Hit some shots going to this waist height position with little wrist hinge trying to achieve consistent solid contact.  Later work on different length swings to practice distance control.  The shorter the shot the less wrist hinge you will require.  Remember to follow through.

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