Pitching control video
If you have a practise area at your club long enough to hit pitch shots you can really perfect your distance control.
Pace out a 15 yard shot, 20 yard shot and 25 yard shot and drop down five balls at each. Experiment with the three shots I have described here and with a range of clubs.
This will give you a huge advantage on the course.
When it comes to playing a shot from 30 yards and in there are a number of keys to think about that will help you improve.
The first piece of advice I would give is to never play a pitch shot until you have visualized it. Study the distance you have left, the lie and the contours of the ground and imagine the ball flying through the air, where it will land and how it will roll out.
You can then decide between one of the three types of pitch shot I will describe in the following tips.
With a range of shots in your armory and the ability to pick the right shot for the situation you will be able to approach each shot with confidence and execute it well.
From the rough
I have a great pitching tip that will work particularly well when you find yourself facing a shot from 30 yards and in from the longer grass.
If the lie is poor I’d suggest using your sand wedge rather than your lob wedge. The bounce and loft of the lob wedge mean you are more likely to go straight under the ball and so a sand wedge will offer more consistency.
You want to play this shot aggressively to make sure that the ball flies out of the tricky lie. Adopt a wide stance and add some loft by leaning the shaft back while keeping the face pointing at the target.
Hinge the wrist immediately as you take the club away in order to set the loft on the club. Release the wrists on the way through and allow the club to release with a nice high finish.
This will send the ball up high and it will stop quickly.
This is a standard pitch shot that you should be able to play with a number of different clubs to fly a number of distance.
If you can repeat this action with different lofts you will develop a feel for distance control and accuracy.
It’s a shot that I call the hinge and hold, involving a hinge of the wrists on the way back and holding that angle you set on the way through.
This will cause the ball to pop out on a medium flight and then check up when it hits the green.
Once you are confident with this technique try it with all of your wedges so that you become familiar about how far each one with fly through the air and then roll out.
Pitch and run
Playing a pitch or chip shot along the ground can be a great option if you are faced with plenty of short grass between you and the hole without too many undulations.
The same technique applies with whichever club you use, you just need to look at how far you want the club to run out and again visualize the shot.
The hand action here is very passive with no wrist break on the way back or through. Think of it as an extension of a putt with a simple rock of the shoulders that gets the ball on the ground quickly and runs out to the hole.
Shot on location at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal, Turkey by Paul Severn.