Golf Lessons 101: Pitching Basics

Pitching, similar to chipping, is an essential part of scoring well.  The difference in the pitch shot is that the ball will travel through the air longer than it is on the ground.  Here are a few elements to consider in every pitch shot.

Pre-Shot Swing Thoughts

  1. Forward shaft lean – At address the hands should be slightly in front of the ball with the shaft leaning towards the lead leg, although not to the extent of the chip shot.
  2. Grip normal on the club – The grip should resemble that of a full swing.
  3. Ball position in the center of the feet – Play the ball in the center of your stance to help encourage a downward stroke.
  4. Weight favoring lead foot – The weight should be slightly towards the lead foot and not vary from that position throughout the swing.
  5. Feet and hips left of target, shoulders and clubface square to target – Although the feet and hips are aligned left, make sure to keep the clubface moving through impact towards the target line in a basic pitch shot.
  6. Narrow stance – The feet should be no more than 12 inches apart.

In-Swing Swing Thoughts

  1. Hands and arms back, arms through – The pitch shot incorporates a second lever with your wrists to help encourage a higher ball flight.  The clubshaft may reach 90 degrees to your lead forearm at the top of  your backswing.  Make sure your hands continue to move forward through impact with a flat left wrist.    
  2. Length of backswing determines distance – Depending on the shot and trajectory needed, the backswing may extend as high as a full swing, but the basic pitch shot will result in the hands no higher than the waist in the backswing.  It is important to make sure you are accelerating through the ball and finishing with your hands no lower than waist high in the follow through.
  3. No weight shift – Avoid shifting your weigh to the back foot.  Similar to the chip shot, this will make it difficult to produce a downward stroke and acceleration through impact.
  4. Downward stroke for more spin – Hitting down the on ball will allow more grooves to be in contact with the ball, producing more spin.  Avoid trying to add loft to the club and ‘swinging under the ball’ instead of through the ball.  Let the natural loft of the club do the work for you.

These golf tips are designed to help the average golfer improve their game.  If you have any questions or wish to receive your own personalized golf lessons feel free to contact us.


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