How To Gain Control Over The Distance Of Your Pitch Shots
A good short game can knock a few shots off any round of golf. Everyone likes to stand on the tee and hit a drive down the middle of the fairway. What happens after that is the real challenge. On a typical par 4, you will be taking a mid-iron to the green and then two putt. If you finish close to the pin with the iron who knows? Perhaps even a birdie? It all sounds so simple yet that is not the game of golf. Drives miss the fairway and irons miss the green. There is light and heavy rough and those dreaded bunkers to avoid. In every good round a golfer makes mistakes. It is the ability to repair the damage that results in the good score and often that is down pitching and putting.
The pitch shot can be played by a number of different club:
- 7 iron is a possibility, especially on a fast links course where the ball will run into a green if the shot is played properly.
- 9 iron where you want to take more of an aerial route but you are confident that the ball will continue to run forward from the point you wish to land it.
- Wedge with the loft to carry the ball on to the green and perhaps just roll a little way forward.
This presupposes you are not a top quality player who can generate backspin regularly and therefore will always target the pin by the aerial route.
There’s a good deal of judgement involved playing pitch shots in general. They rarely involve a full swing but they do involve having a good touch as well as the time to practice. Hand and eye co-ordination is important and during a round the ability to recognise the pace of the course and the features that are obstacles to successfully hitting the green.
Mid-handicap golfers will hit a wedge around 100 yards with a full swing so every shot of that distance and closer will call for some kind of pitch. The choice of club depends on the terrain but if the shot is being played into the wind then it may be advisable to try to keep it low using a little less loft. It’s not an option if there is sand or water in the way. A case for good course management and a little imagination.