Why You Need This: In this video, you'll learn how to hit great pitch shots.
First, let's make sure it's clear what the difference is between a pitch shot and a full swing.
I get asked about this often so let's make sure you know the difference.
The main difference is that with a full swing, you'll have a lot of lag, and you stay in posture longer through contact.
Also, you need to whip the club through with a full release.
With a pitch, on the other hand, your club, body, and arms stay together more.
Essentially, you're moving through contact as one unit.
Focus on keeping your left elbow close to your body.
Your finish is different as well with pitch shots...
Let your shoulders level out quickly after impact and have the club finish more vertical.
Here are the 3 main checkpoints for hitting great pitch shots...
- Your shoulders should be more level in the follow through
- Let the club finish vertical (i.e. don't let it roll over like you would in a full swing)
- Your left side and left elbow work closely together through impact
Practice those checkpoints and you'll be well on your way to hitting great pitch shots.
Watch this video now to...
Learn solid pitch fundamentals...
And attack the pin with your pitches!
Golf Pros Featured: Tiger Woods
Instructors Featured: Clay Ballard
Video Duration: 3:45
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One of the questions I get all the time is, what’s the difference between a pitch shot and a full swing? What do we need to do differently, and how are we going to be accurate with those pitch shots? How are we going to get a lot of power with our full swing?
The main thing comes down to releasing the club versus keeping the body and the club moving through together. So in a full swing, the idea is that we’re going to have a lot of lag and then our body’s actually going to decelerate and our club is going to release past our body.
If we’re looking from down the line view, if I hit my ball and I come into the release as my hands are coming on through, you’re going to see that my shoulders are staying in their posture and my arms are basically releasing almost parallel with my shoulders.
So if I was to stand straight up, my club releases this way, kind of going back in to the left. That’s from me letting that club really roll on over, release, and to get that good speed coming through the shot. My body slows down to let the club whip past as I’m coming into the release.
Now the pitch shot is quite a bit different. You’ll see in good Pro players, I’ll show you a picture of Tiger Woods here up on the screen from when he was playing really well.
You can look at this for a lot of Pro players. As they pitch, we’re going to keep the body, the club, the arms, all that moving together. Imagine everything just kind of moving through as one unit as we’re coming on through.
The difference here is how we’re going to finish. As I come through to my pitch finish, instead of staying in my posture like I did with the full swing, I’m going to let my shoulders level on out.
You’re going to notice that my club stays a little bit more vertical. Here was the release with the full swing, here’s the release with the pitch shot.
You can see this picture with Tiger Woods I’m showing, look how the club is more vertical. Look how his shoulders are more level with the ground compared to the full swing where his shoulders are more tilted. Then also, I’m going to feel like my left elbow and the left side of my body are working together.
So those are coming through the shot, I’m going to have a little bit more rotation together with the body and the arms.
The sensation you’re going to get there is as we come through, the left arm, left elbow, and the side are going to stay a little closer together as I come to this release position versus letting that roll on over and separate out away from my body.
Focus on those three key factors. We’re going to do about 100 reps of this. Number one, I’m going to feel like my shoulders are a little bit more level with these pitch shots. I’m coming on through, my finish is more level.
Number two, I’m letting the club finish more vertical. So I’m not going to let it roll on over this way, it’s going to be more vertical. Number three, my left side of my body and my elbow are kind of working through as one single unit.
Now I want to make sure that I keep my grip nice and light, that I’m accelerating through the shot, I don’t want to slow down, I want to keep my body and my club moving through together as a unit. That’s going to help you to get these good, clean pitch shots. Let’s go ahead and try a few out.
There we go, hit that one nice and clean. You see it checked up a little bit. If I hit it a little bit harder, then I’m going to get a little bit more speed on there. But that actually gets a little bit more spin, you notice how that ball hit one time and then immediately checked up.
I’ve just got to go a little bit harder, but because I’m letting that club and the body move through together, it’s very easy for me to come down and make solid contact and get spin on the ball rather than rolling it on over, I’m going to lose a little bit of that spin, take some spin off.
I want to imagine that this club is working through the shot and staying very vertical with the shaft as I’m coming all the way on around.
Practice those key check points, about 100 repetitions just going nice and slow, pausing in the finish position. Second thing we’re going to go fluid strokes, about 100 practice swings, making sure the body’s working together, everything’s accelerating through together in the shot.
Then third, we’re going to take it out to the course, see if we can get those nice spinning shots like I just hit there. Good luck.