How to Hit a Pitch Shot in Golf

By Steve Silverman

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Learning to play the short game in golf is one of the big keys to improving your score. It's one thing to hit the ball off the tee and another to hit good fairway shots. Your pitch shots to the green must be tight, sharp and consistent.


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Grip your pitching wedge with your left hand about 6 inches below the top of the shaft. Gripping down on the club will give you greater control of the ball when you swing.
  2. Play the ball midway between your front and back feet. If you are anywhere from 80 to 120 yards to the green, use a full swing. Rotate your hips to the right and bring your hands back to shoulder height. When you reach the top of your swing, turn your hips back to the left. Once your hips get through the hitting zone, accelerate with your hands to get the ball in the air.
  3. Use a shorter backswing with a pitch shot of 60 to 80 yards. You will bring your club back to waist-level, but in order to get the ball to stop on the green you must finish with your hands high. This will put backspin on the ball and cause it to stop when it hits the green, leaving you with a makeable putt.
  4. Open your left shoulder by having the front of your body face the green when you are pitching the ball from fewer than 60 yards. Bring your hands forward so they are about even with your front hip. This will allow you to hit a "hot" shot that will bounce twice and then stop suddenly on the green. To do this, bring your hands through the ball, but stop when the club is knee level.
  5. Hit a high pitch shot when you have a water hazard blocking your way to the green. You will need to take a full swing to get the ball over the hazard and to the back edge of the green. If you finish with your hands high on the shot, you should be able to stop your ball before it rolls beyond the green.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work on your pitching when you go to the driving range.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.