How to Pitch and Run

By Steve Silverman

golfer puts ball on tee
Learning how to hit a pitch-and-run shot is one of the first shots that inexperienced golfers can hit with confidence. It is also a shot that all golfers can use any time in their career under the right circumstances. If you are playing a hole that has a bit of an uphill finish, the pitch and run can be the perfect shot to land near the green and then run up to the hole.


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Use your pitching wedge when you are 100 yards or less from the green. To execute the pitch and run, open your shoulders slightly when you address the ball. You don't want to take a full swing, but you do want to have a full finish. This stance will help you accomplish this.
  2. Play the ball a bit closer to your front leg than your back leg. You want to catch the ball on the upswing and send it up in the air fairly high. Playing it closer to your front leg will help you accomplish this.
  3. Take about half of your normal backswing. After your have brought your club back to the level of your waist, rotate your hips forward and come through the ball with a smooth and steady swing. Do not come through the ball quickly, or you will send the ball too far and possibly go over the green.
  4. Keep your wrists stiff after impact. On a normal shot, you will break your wrists on impact, and this will help keep the ball straight and finish with backspin. On the pitch and run, you don't want backspin. After the ball hits the short grass, you want it to bounce and roll forward. On a 100-yard pitch and run, your shot will fly about 70 yards and bounce and roll the remaining 25 to 30 yards.
  5. Practice the pitch and run when you finish your bucket of balls at the driving range. You may be a bit tired near the end of the bucket, but that's to your advantage. You don't want to overswing, and feeling somewhat fatigued may help you take it easy on your swing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember to take about half of your normal backswing on the pitch and run.

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.