How to hit a pitch shot
Pitching should be seen as part of the short game family of shots and not the long game as many people mistake.
Those who struggle with pitching the most – the awkward 30-80 yard shots – play pitches too much like a mini version of their full swing. The problem with this is that you develop a bit of a weight shift – which is fine for the long game – but it’s something that becomes a problem in pitching, which is all about finesse and creating distance control.
Think about pitching as an extension of how you chip rather than a watered-down version of your long game.
Set up a lot narrower than with your irons, grip down the club a little and think about creating a left side pivot by imagining a straight line running through your front foot, knee, hip and shoulder. It’s this line you need to imagine rotating around when pitching.
As a result, all your pressure will rotate around your front side as opposed to moving side-to-side as you do a little bit more in your long game. Using this left side pivot will also allow you to hit your distances more regularly and help you to control the finesse and touch you need to pitch it close.
Matching Backswing And Follow Through
One of the most common faults with pitching is not marrying the backswing length with the follow through length. I often see long backswings and then deceleration through the swing, which makes the follow through too short. Or, players are short on the way back and then try and make up for it with an extended follow through. Either way, this is not how to hit a pitch shot for clean, consistent ball striking.
Think about trying to match the length of your swing going back and coming back through and you’ll find a lot more consistency when it comes to delivering the strike.
Related: Step-by-step guide to pitching
Making The Correct Equipment Choices
When it comes to how to hit a pitch shot more consistently it’s a really good idea to match the bounce of your wedges to your tendencies. If you’re a player with a shallow angle of attack and plenty of club head release, you might want to think about getting a club with a lower bounce. This will mean you won’t get too much of that trailing edge hitting the ground and kicking up, which often creates a thin shot around the green.
Alternatively, if you’re quite steep with the leading edge it’s a great idea to get a wedge with extra bounce. A club like the TaylorMade Hi Toe Raw wedge has a lot of bounce which means it can slide more when it makes contact with the ground, rather than digging and causing you to chunk it.