Comparable to the chip shot, the pitch shot is perfect for short distance travel. While similar, the pitch shot does involve a different approach so it is important to distinguish the idiosyncrasies of each technique so you can master each individual skill. The pitch shot has a much higher loft and is played slightly further from the green. While chip shots are more reliant on rolling, the pitch shot spends more time in the air tracing a higher arc. It is generally more preferable to attempt a chip shot when possible, but sometimes our options are limited! If there is any rough terrain that may complicate a steady and straight rolling path, you may want to consider the pitch shot instead.
The pitch requires a slightly longer swing and a more centrally oriented stance, favoring the lead leg in terms of weight distribution. Your feet should be slightly further apart with your knees partially flexed. It is also important to note that the club makes contact with the ground and the ball at the same time; this shallow approach enables a high, soft shot with some spin. This approach will enable the ball to come down along a steep descent with little to no rolling involved.
Follow the steps below to master the set-up for a basic pitch shot:
Basic Pitch Shot
1) Note how the arms and club form a “y” shape.
2) Keep the “y” shape as the upper body turns towards the trail leg (club shaft is parallel to the ground).
3) Form an “L” shape with the lead forearm by hinging the wrists.
4) As the body turns into the down swing, let the “L” shape (arms, hands, club) drop.
5) Continue turning though impact and come to a balanced finish.
In the coming weeks, we will also cover the green side pitch shot and the distance pitch shot, which use this set-up as a foundation with slight adjustments. As with any golf skill or new golf drill, make sure that you prioritize form first and your accuracy, distance and speed will follow suit. Next week, we’re going to continue working on exercises to increase our ability for speed. Keep it fast, but keep your form!
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