This is the Pitch Swing Lesson. This Golf Pitch Shots lesson is designed to help you develop your pitch shot swing. We want to hit these tricky short game shots closer to the hole. A couple of good pitches that lead to one putts can really help lower your scores.
This shot needs good technique and great touch. Both of these things can be developed through practice and game experience. Okay…grab your wedges and let’s work on your pitch swing.
In order to hit great pitch shots you must set up properly. Here is a quick review of the Pitching Setup Lesson:
Golf Pitch Shots Tip #1 : The Address
- Outside edges of your feet are shoulder width apart.
- Weight leaning on to left foot.
- Ball position in between your heels.
- Hands ahead of ball…if let go, club should hit inner part of leg.
- Your arms and shoulders form a solid triangle at address. This is a great key throughout the swing.
- Feet and hips are open to the target line.
- Shoulders are square to target line.
- Knees have slight bend.
- Push butt backwards to create bend at waist. Keeps back straight, better balance.
Golf Pitch Shots Tip #2 : The Backswing
- Remember the triangle formed at address. Turn your shoulders and arms together so that you keep the triangle intact.
- You should feel a slight turning of your hips. This is great because it will help keep a good rhythm.
- Don’t shift your weight. Your weight should stay on leaning forward. You want to make a slight turn…not slide. Sliding creates extra motion, and makes the timing more difficult for good contact.
- Your club should stop parallel to the ground.
- Your hands will be almost waist high.
- When the club is parallel to the ground, the club head should be slightly closer to the target line than your hands. (Mine is okay..but a little closer to being in line with my hands would be better)
- Your club face should be pointing straight up and down to hit the ball straight and at the height you want. If the face is pointing down to the ground then you will hit your shot low and left of your target.
Golf Pitch Shots Tip #3 : The Downswing
When you finish your back swing and are going to return the back to the ball to make contact. This move is very important for any shot in golf. (except putting) You want to make sure that everything from your hips, arms and club are all moving together so that you can have great timing and hit a crisp shot.
- Make sure you complete your backswing before you start your downswing. This is the only way you can stay in rhythm.
- Once completed, start turning your hips towards the target. The hips always start the downswing. This helps with making solid contact.
- Make sure you don’t leave your arms and club behind. This means that your arms and club have to follow your hips. If your hips move but your club stays frozen in place, your club will get off line and make poor contact with the ball.
- If you start your arms first without moving your hips…you will be very inconsistent with your contact. Your timing will be off.
- A key thing to remember is that you started with your weight leaning on your left foot at address. It did not move on your backswing so you don’t need to shift any weight on your downswing. It is already in place.
Getting the right sequence takes practice but is critical in making consistent contact with the ball. It is only when you make consistently solid contact that you can become a great player of pitch shots. Better pitches means shorter putts which leads to lower scores.
Golf Pitch Shots Tip #3 : Impact
They say that making impact with the ball is the moment of truth…well…they are right. If you have a solid impact position and your club is in the right place, you will make good contact. To make great contact:
- No weight shift. You preset your weight for impact at address. It’s already perfect…don’t change it.
- Keep your left wrist flat. This prevents blading the ball and sending a line drive screaming over the green. When you bend your left wrist backwards the leading edge of your club will come up to quickly and it will hit the middle of the ball. Screamer!
- Hands stay ahead of your club and the ball. Notice how this is the same as your address position.
A great way to practice a good impact position is to set up for your shot properly. We really are recreating the address position at impact.
To get a good feel, set up for your pitch shot and then turn your hips slightly more towards the target. That is a great impact position. Your weight, hands and wrists have not changed. If you can use the proper sequence in the downswing then you will recreate your address position at impact and make great shots.
Golf Pitch Shots Tip #4 : The Follow Through
The follow through is truly just a continuation of what you started during the downswing. Notice how your body club and arms should continue moving together in one smooth motion.
- Both arms extend during the post impact. To get a feel for this put a head cover a foot closer to your target in line with your ball. As you swing past the ball, point both your thumbs at the head covers. As if you are trying to touch the cover with your thumbs. This will help extend your arms past impact.
- Your weight has still not moved.
- Your belt buckle and belly button should face the target. This is a great way to make sure your hips keep rotating through the shot. If your hips stop during your swing…you will most likely hit the ground behind the ball (chilly dip!) or you will lose distance control.
Golf Pitch Shots Tip #5 : Summary
I know that it seems like a lot to learn for just one shot. But it is certainly worth learning as pitching is a delicate art in golf. You will shoot great scores if you can pitch the ball well.
The tour pros spend a lot of time working on their short game because they know it makes or breaks their tournament result. As for us, we all can’t drive it 300 yards every time like a tour pro, but we all have the ability to have a great short game like a touring pro…well, almost as good!!
Thank you for taking the Golf Pitch Shots Swing Lesson. The next lesson in the Golf Pitch Shots Series is the Pitch Shot Trajectories Lesson.
It is very important that you have very comfortable with the setup and swing. Once you are consistent at making solid contact we can move on to playing shots of different heights for varying situations you will face on the golf course.