Golf tips: The Pitch Shot

A short backswing and long follow-through will ensure a crisp shot. Poor pitching results from decelerating through impact. Groove a swing with a longer follow-through than backswing. This will keep you from quitting on the shot.

Pitching requires development of "feel". Only practice will allow you to land balls consistently within a certain area from a variety of distances. How much effort to give each shot must be developed with practice over time.

To ensure a crisp shot "through the ball". The leading cause of poor pitching is failure to accelerate through the shot. This occurs because the backswing is too long , causing you to back off as you come into the ball for fear of hitting beyond your target. Keep your backswing as short as necessary to get the job done. On the long pitches be sure the left hand leads through the swing.

To groove a repetitive swing. You need to groove a repetitive swing with enough finesse in it to adapt to a hundred different situations. This is what "feel" means. It takes lots of practice and a good bit of time.

To build confidence in your pitch shots. Anyone can become competent with the wedge. The mechanics are simple. All it takes is a few dedicated practice sessions to start developing your touch. Your confidence will soar once you hit this level. The wedge drills, simple as they seem, can develop your touch and increase your confidence.

Do and Don'ts
Spend as much time practicing with the wedge as you do with the driver. When you master the standard wedge shot there are other variations such as the "cut" wedge and the "lob" wedge to try next.