Golf pitch shots: a lot easier than you think

I’m so tired of reading about the latest and greatest method for a golf pitch shot or any other golf shot for that matter. You know, you can go back to some golf magazines from the 60’s and you’ll see almost the exact same pictures and instruction sequences as today. Not much has really changed in golf instruction I’m here to tell you. If you read the latest books, however, you’d swear that the human body was just invented or that golf clubs were just invented, one of the two.

Listen, it’s so simple to make a great golf pitch shot and everyone way over complicates this. As with everything I teach in golf, it all boils down to doing a couple main things very correctly. Most of the details matter very little but we get all caught up in so many minor things that we end up not paying attention to the major thing.

For a golf pitch shot. Here’s the major things:

1. As still a body as you can given the distance of the swing. Again, I hear all of this advice on videos about wrist cock and proper stance and blah blah blah… Guess what? There’s many ways to make a pitch shot, not just one. But they all work more consistently when the body is still. Focus on this. Work on this in your living room while watching TV. You don’t even need a ball? This will pay you back in spades in lower score and yet nobody does it. Of course, if you have more than a short pitch shot, then yes, you have to allow the body to rotate with the swing. Just minimize it. The physics of the golf swing is such that the least of amount of variables of any of the swings gives you the highest chance for consistency.

2. Hit down to make the ball go up. Now if I had a nickel for every time I saw an amateur try to “help” the ball up in the air, I’d be a millionaire. This is so common because it is counter-intuitive. To hit a great golf pitch shot, you must strike the ball before the ground. If you need more loft, pull out your sand wedge or lob wedge. Don’t go through all those bodily gyrations to force it. The best way to make sure this happens is to pre-load it in your setup. That means, you should be leaning on your front foot more than your back. That drops your front shoulder down and back shoulder up. As long as you keep your body still, your swing will necessarily result in a downward, correct strike on the ball.

3. Make the shot while keeping it as low as possible. In other words, you don’t always need a wedge! In fact, for most amateurs, running the ball up on the green is almost always a better choice, especially if you tend to chunk it or hit it fat as they say. Pull out your 5-iron some day and chip with it anytime you don’t absolutely have to put it in the air You’ll be surprised.

Folks, those are the biggies. Get real good at them and then you don’t even have to worry about any details. Forget about being “technically correct.” Much of that stuff is for the pros. Look, you just want to break 100 or 90 right? How will you do that? By becoming as consistent as possible. Work on the big 3 in your next golf chip shot and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

  • Jeremiah Minifield says:

    It sounds like you’re describing how to play a chip shot. I say that because you mentioned using a 5 iron instead of a wedge. I’d like to know your thoughts on hitting a 30 yard pitch shot. I tend to hit them fat and sometimes thin. Thanks.


    • admin says:

      Hi Jeremiah, the article, in general, is just to make the point to forget about “spin” as a necessity for most shots for us amateur golfers, including pitches and chips. Bump and run as much as possible to eliminate the fat and thin shots.

  • >