The pitch shot is used when you are too far from the green to chip, but too close to the green for a full swing.
Just as with putting and chipping, the pitch shot requires some basic fundamentals, touch, and practice.
The pitch shot is one of the best areas of your game to practice to enhance the overall quality of your entire golf game.
In many ways, the pitch shot is just a short version of your full swing.
How to Hit a Pitch Shot
First, pick your club. A pitch shot is played with a wedge – pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge.
Once you choose your club, you need to set up for your shot.
Place the club behind the ball, square to your target. Make sure the face of the club is pointing at your target line.
Grip the club using your normal grip (Baseball Grip, Interlock or Overlap), but choke your hands down just slightly on the grip for control of the club. Your hands must be set slightly in front of the ball, closer to your target. This encourages a descending strike on the ball first and then brush the turf.
Next, you need to address your ball position. The ball position can be right in line with your spine or center of your body. The ball can also be just behind the center of your body, a little farther from the target. The width of your feet should be slightly less than shoulder width apart. Your weight should be 60% on your front foot and 40% on your back foot. This allows the ball to get up in the air.
Hitting a pitch shot requires the player to swing their arms into the back swing allowing your wrists to hinge going back. Then swing down and through the ball, brushing the turf after contact with the ball. Allow your wrists to rehinge on the follow through.
Key items during the stroke:
- Keep your weight still and centered on the back swing
- Let your shoulders, arms, and hands to do the work
- On the follow through to your finish, your arms swing through finishing with your weight on your front foot and your belt buckle facing the target
As with all of your short game shots, the length of your stroke will determine how far the ball will travel.
Once you become comfortable with your swing in the pitch shot and you are making solid contact with the golf ball, you will be able to try various wedges to see how each one performs differently, providing different results.
Learn more about short game.