Pitching swing speed

One of the big things that golfers are often told to avoid, especially in the short game, is decelerating through impact.

Whilst this advice is absolutely correct, it often leads to an over-aggressive move through impact as players attack the ball with a jerky swing.

Pitching is simply a shorter, abreviated version of your full swing. It should ideally consist of a half swing back, followed by a half swing through.

The swing consists of your upper body and lower body rotating both arms around your spine.  As it’s a longer swing than a simple short chip, there is also a soft hand action.

So the way I teach this is to think that if you are looking for a 30mph clubhead speed, you want to be swinging at that pace all the way through the downswing and into the finish.

No sudden acceleration and certainly no deceleration through impact. Keep the speed under control and smooth throughout the downswing.

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This is key to controlling your pitching distances and getting up and down more often from inside 100 yards – Graeme McDowell explains how to do it here.

Lots of amateurs go wrong because they use a totally different approach from their normal swing when they pitch. As we’ve discussed, there’s no need.
It’s simply a mini-version of your full golf swing. It’s toned down a little but the same factors, like completing your backswing, staying over the ball through the downswing and finding a balanced finish position still apply.
Almost all poor pitchers get out of sync on their downswing. They overuse the lower body and their upper body freezes, or they just get handsy when delivering the club to the ball.
Both of these make consistently solid contact difficult, and results in lots of fat and thin shots.


Try this!

Feel like you have one swing speed (about ¾ pace) for every pitch shot you hit. Control the overall distance through the length of your arm-swing and the loft of the club you choose.