Step-By-Step Guide To Pitching - Distance Control

Pitch it close every time with expert advice from Dan Grieve

In this video, a step-by-step guide to pitching, Dan Grieve, head professional Woburn Golf Club, demonstrates how changing your set up can help you to control your wedge distances
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

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In this video, a step-by-step guide to pitching, Dan Grieve, Head Professional Woburn Golf Club, demonstrates how changing your set up can help you to control your wedge distances

Step-By-Step Guide To Pitching - Distance Control

In this video, a step-by-step guide to pitching, Dan Grieve, Head Professional at Woburn Golf Club, demonstrates how changing your set up can help you to control your wedge distances.

Watch the video above to find out how you can pitch it close every time.

Distance Wedges vs Finesse Wedges

Distance wedges can be defined as a full wedge shot, and to really be good in this area of the game having the right tools is vital. I'd highly recommend going for a gapping session where you use a launch monitor to make sure the distances between your wedges are nicely staggered - which means you shouldn't have to play so many awkward half and three-quarter length shots. 

Step-By-Step Guide To Pitching

The tougher part of distance control is when you don’t have the full shot - so you're faced with more of a finesse pitch.

A lot of people struggle with this shot because they don't control the backswing in relation to the distance they're trying to hit the ball. Some golfers have long game bias in their pitching, whereby the stance is too wide and the hands are too far up the grip. This unintentionally causes players to create a backswing that is too long for the shot needed and leads to deceleration or overhitting. 

Related: How To Pitch From Muddy Lies

The Address System 

To combat this, a lot of golfers like to use the clock face system - which in theory is very good - but it's difficult to execute regularly as it still allows a golfer to overswing and overhit the ball. 

Instead, I like to teach the address system. The idea is that you have three different ways of setting up to the ball - 'address one', 'address two' and 'address three', and they create a governor on the backswing that means you can’t overhit; in each address position you’ll feel a natural 'sticky end' to the backswing. 

Watch the video above and what I talk about next is going to make a lot more sense.

Address One

So, using the address one set up for a pitch of about 30 yards, have a distance of one club head between the middle of your feet, have your hands as low as possible on the grip and make sure there is about 60% of your weight on the front foot. 

Doing these three things - while also standing a bit closer to the ball because of the position of your hands on the grip - you should feel a natural end point to the backswing where you can then gently rotate through the shot. 

Address Two

For a 50-yard pitch, go to address two - so two club heads between the middle of your feet, your hands positioned in the middle of the grip, and stand a little bit further away from the ball, keeping your weight on your left foot. With this set up, you should feel the natural end point of your backswing reach a little higher, allowing for a longer pitch. 

Address Three

Your stance needs to be about three club heads wide; get your hands almost to the top of the grip, and stand a little further away from the ball. The natural end point of your backswing should feel longer - but not too long - and allow you to pitch the ball approximately 70 yards. 

Watch the step-by-step guide to pitching video to see how I'm using my chest - it's the engine when you pitch and it keeps rotating through.

Related: Difference Between Pitching And Chipping 

Golf Ball Selection

Having the right golf ball is essential in all areas but particularly around the greens. 

The TaylorMade TP5 golf ball I'm using in this video has a softer urethane cover than its sibling, the TP5x, making it feel softer off the face and more workable around the greens. 

Related: TaylorMade 2021 TP5 Ball Review

The TP5x has a harder urethane cover and lower compression, making it ideal for someone with a quicker swing to create a more penetrating ball flight, especially off the tee and with long irons.

Finding the ball that provides you with the best performance for you, in all areas of the game, is essential.