Golf tips: Pitch Drill

Place 5 or 6 clubs (you could use towels or other markers) on your practice area. Place them approximately at the 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50+ yard distances. Pitch two or three balls from each distance. Experiment with your pitching wedge, sand wedge, and nine iron.

Do not hit more than a few shots in a row from the same distance. Concentrate on trying to feel the proper length of the backswing necessary for each distance. Place tees or other markers on the green to vary your target also.

To relate distance to swing length. The relationship between length of swing and the distance the ball travels depends on several factors. The loft of your club and effort put into the swing will have the greatest impact. For this drill use an eight, nine, pitching wedge, or sand wedge. You want to work on the effort needed to hit each club various distances.

To learn to choose the right club to pitch with in each situation. Every pitch shot you face will vary in distance, obstacles to hit over and how fast you have to stop the ball on the green. The only way to learn the proper club for each distance under different conditions is to experiment. You will find one favorite club to pitch with in pressure situations, but you should spend some time practicing with each club in various situations.

To apply mental imagery in practice and game situations. Pitching to markers (towels, clubs or whatever) at different distances during a practice session has carryover value for game situations. This drill will teach you to properly estimate the amount of effort required for each shot and help you create the mental image of the speed and flight needed for a successful shot.

Do and Don'ts
Make sure you retain an accelerating swing no matter what the distance.