04 October 2018
At the academy, I see a lot of golfers struggling to control the distance they hit pitch shots of between 30 to 90 yards. The main problem students face is struggling with impact due to it no longer being a full shot and needing to make a reduced swing.
To maintain consistent ball striking and be able to control the distance the ball travels I encourage golfers to keep a similar address position with all pitch shots. The only slight change should be to the width of the player's stance; it should get wider as the shot gets longer.
To begin practising, choose one club to keep things simple. There are then three key points that I want you to think about:
Deliver the club face the same no matter what distance, don’t try to hit it higher or lower
Create a similar angle of attack
Keep the tempo of all shots the same
The big change, that allows you to hit the ball different distances, is swing length. A mid-handicap golfer needs to learn how to control the length of their swing to pitch the ball different distances.
The systems below will help you understand this, the first is for a beginner and the second for a more intermediate/advanced player:
In order, practice making a short, medium, and long backswing. This is a good way to build up the feel of each swing length and to get accustomed to changing between them.
Clock system – This will help with the length of your backswing and can be developed by using different clubs and follow-throughs to create many different distances. 8-4 o’clock, 9-3 o’clock, 10-2 o’clock.
Just to reiterate, short swings don’t mean slow swings. Try to always maintain your tempo when pitching and keep speed in the club.