On pitch shots the #1 skill is controlling distance.

The Fundamentals
  • Good balance
  • Addressing the ball
  • The grip
  • Down swing
  • Follow through
  • Relaxed shoulders
  • Straight left arm


Advanced Technique
  • Right arm slight bend
  • Distance of stance
  • Comfortable club postition
  • Square shoulders
  • Good balance
  • Feet planted firmly
  • Soft, but firm grip

More to think about. Keep practicing.

Keep lowering your score. Keep improving. 

On pitch shots the No. 1 skill is controlling distance. If you work that back, the key to distance control is making predictable contact with the ball. Hitting it fat or thin — even a little — puts your distance all over the map.

A common reason for poor contact in pitching is too much wrist hinge during the backswing. A big hinge leads to a steep downswing and, often, hitting behind the ball. Even when steep swingers hit it solid, they take deep divots—they’re always on the verge of fatting it.

I prefer less wrist hinge going back so you can brush the ground through impact. Steve Stricker is the best practitioner of this style: He keeps his wrists firm going back and turns his body in sync with his arms. Then, coming through, everything turns together again. It’s very solid, very repeatable.

So pitch like Strick. Use your most lofted wedge, play the ball about middle and favor your front foot. Swing back wide, with minimal hinge, then turn and swing through. You’ll see quick improvement in your contact—and start sticking them close.