How to Control the Trajectory of Your Pitch Shot

By Mike McGetrick

When you are playing golf and you are faced with a pitch shot in the fairway, you need to learn how to control the trajectory of the shot.

How to Hit a Pitch Shot Over a Bunker

For example, if you had a 40-yard shot with the pin in the back of the green, that would be a shot that you would want to take in low and run back to the pin. If the pin were in the middle of the green for a 40-yard shot you would want a little bit of height and a little bit of roll. If you had a 40-yard shot where you were going over a bunker and the pin was tucked close to the bunker, what you want to do is hit the ball a little higher.

Pitch Shot: Set-Up and Technique Adjustments

To do that you have to chance your setup and you have to change your swing technique. For a low 40-yard shot, I am going to set up and position the ball in the back of my stance, hands forward, my club selection can be a sand wedge or a pitching wedge, and in my swing I am going to have a shorter follow-through.

  • Always remember, the lower the shot the lower the follow-through with the clubhead. So for a low shot, ball back, hands forward, longer backswing, shorter forward-swing to get the bump and run.
  • Now to get a little bit of height and a little bit of roll that does not roll as far I am going to position the ball center of my stance, position my hands in the center of my stance, my backswing length and my forward-swing length are going to be the same.

Using a Sand Wedge to Chip

So I am setting up, ball centered, hands centered, 56-degree sand wedge, short back, short through of equal length to get a little bit more height on the shot.

  • Now to hit it higher I am going to open my clubface a little bit more, I might elect to use my 60-degree sand wedge, ball position is more forward, hands are back a little bit in this position so that the clubhead will get there a little sooner than the handle, getting the ball up in the air.

What I am going to do on this shot is I am going to have a longer follow-through. My backswing is going to be shorter than my follow-through. That gets the ball up in the air. So when you are practicing hitting pitch shots, try low shots, medium shots and high shots by changing your swing and changing your setup technique.


Category: Trajectory

About the Instructor

Mike McGetrick
Mike McGetrick
McGetrick Golf Academy
4900 Himalaya Road, Building Q
Denver, CO 80249
Tel: 303-799-0870