Master Distance Control on Pitch Shots with these Simple Tips

Pitch Shot Distance control

Pitching the ball close to the hole is one of the keys for scoring well in golf. While length off the tee is impressive, it’s the short game that saves strokes. Controlling distances on pitch shots around the greens will lead to easier putts and more one-putts.

For golfers looking to sharpen their skills, here are some techniques to dial in yardages on Pitch Shot Distance control.

Pitch Shot Distance control – Tips

1. Know the Common Pitch Shot Distances

Before stepping up to a pitch shot, take a look at the situation and visualize the distance you need. Some of the most frequent pitch shot distances are:

  • 10 yards – A short pitch when you just need to carry a bunker or light rough
  • 20 yards – A mid-range pitch to a back pin or to clear a swale
  • 30 yards – A longer pitch shot that carries deeper rough or bunkers

Pitching becomes easier when you have a feel for hitting common carry distances. Keep those yardages in mind as you read your lie and plan the shot.

2. Vary Club Selection for Distance Control

Don’t always reach for the pitching wedge on pitch shots. Expand your wedge options for more precision. For a 10 yard pitch, consider a lofted 60 degree wedge. For a 20 yard pitch, a 56 degree sand wedge can work well. And for a 30 yard pitch, the trusty pitching wedge may be the right choice.

Carry a variety of wedges to give yourself options based on the distance. You’ll have much better distance control playing a 50 yard pitch with a gap wedge versus trying to choke down on a pitching wedge.

3. Think “Clock Hands” for the Backswing

An easy way to help gauge distance on a pitch shot setup is to envision the backswing as the hands of a clock. For a 10 yard pitch shot, make a short 9 o’clock backswing. As the desired distance increases, make a longer backswing – like 10 o’clock or even 11 o’clock for a 30 yard pitch.

Let the desired distance and club selection determine how long to take the backswing. Don’t just make the same 3/4 swing every time. Calibrate the backswing length to the shot.

4. Mirror the Backswing In Your Follow Through

Once you make your backswing to the desired “clock hand” position, swing through and finish in that same position. Keeping the same ratio between the backswing and follow through promotes consistency in contact and distance control.

Don’t allow your follow through to go past the backswing position. That leads to decelerating and losing distance. Stay balanced and swing to a solid finish right at your predetermined backswing length.

5. Practice Pitch Shot Drills with Alignment Rods

Work on dialing in distances for pitch shots by practicing with alignment rods or pool noodles as visual guides. Place rods 10, 20, and 30 yards from the practice green to represent common pitch shot carries.

Make rehearsal swings and backswings based on the clock hand position concept, then pitch to each distance while focusing on a matching follow through. Ingrain proper mechanics and distance control. Also keep eye on optimized putter length.

6. Match Yardages and Situations for Scoring

With distance control on pitch shots, you can strategically match yardages to situations on the course. For front hole locations, play conservative and focus on just carrying the hazard. For back pins, be aggressive to pitch it deeper.

Distance control also helps in high pressure moments. Picture the yardage needed, commit to a target, and execute the pitch. Mastering distance control leads to more scoring opportunities.

Final Thoughts

The short game is a true indicator of scoring ability. Pitching the ball close ties into lower putts per round. By varying club selection, dialing in backswing lengths, and matching practice distances, golfers can achieve better distance control on pitch shots.

Try these techniques to improve your touch and shoot lower scores. What distances do you find most challenging off the greens? Focus practice on those yardages. Master distance control with your wedges and watch your handicap drop.

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