Pitch shots are feared by amateurs, while professionals do their utmost to avoid them. But why is this the case, and what can you do to avoid this?
Why are Pitch Shots Considered To Be So Difficult?
The pitch shot lacks the subtlety of a powerful drive, while lacking the subtlety of a put. As such the pitch is generally considered something of an ‘in-betweener’.
You can’t really hit a pitch the way you hit other shots, relying as it does on smaller ranges of movement, for much of the time. It’s hard to get the distance of the shot right, as you need to learn to make subtle corrections to get the distance you need.
What Kind of Mistakes do People Make?
The biggest mistake people make when pitching is not to relax sufficiently for the shot. Because of the carefully calibrated swing required, pitching requires a relaxed ‘in the zone approach’, perhaps even more than other swings. This is why the pitch can scare a tour pro, let alone the rest of us!
Tension will lead to shots that either go nowhere or fly off uncontrollably, neither of which is desirable. This is caused by starting the swing slowly and then accelerating at the end of the swing, or starting too fast and having to slow at the end of the shot.
What can I do to Improve My Pitch?
You need to relax, in order to get the right kind of shot. Developing a good pre-shot routine should help with this. When practicing it pays to set yourself a marker, so that you can tweak the amount of swing required for different distances and situations too. This should help build confidence, which should help with relaxing.
The tempo and smoothness of a pitch is essential. If it is not completed with a smooth pace you’ll either end up with a shot that acts uncontrollably, or goes nowhere- as detailed above. Concentrate on setting that tempo and you’ll get more solid result.
Practice really pays off when it comes to pitching, particularly with the difficult art of visualizing these complex, high shot arcs. As always with golf, getting a good idea of where the ball will travel is key.
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