Play Better Golf

Lesson 20: Building Your Arsenal: Pitch Distance Control

Area: Short

Practice Site: Range

Instructions by: Scott Munroe

If your aim is to become a short-game marksman, it is easy, the goal is to vary your pitch distance. But it doesn’t mean you need to make your swing softer or harder according to the pin yardage. Here, you need to make consistent shots. On this drill, you will be asked to have three wedges and swing each of them in nine different ways, producing 27 unique distances ranging from 100 yards and shorter. Doing this will help you knock it squarely no matter how near or far you are to the pin. What to do? Using your normal grip, hit balls in three different lengths of swing.

1st Swing: imagine a clock is set behind you. Stop your backswing at 8:00 and pass through at 4:00.

The 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock swing.

2nd Swing: take your backswing to a halt at 9:00 and you must be through-swing at 3:00.

The 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock swing.

3rd Swing: take your backswing to a halt at 10:00 and must be at your through-swing at 2:00.

The 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock swing.

It is obvious that the 8-4 swing is going to make the ball fly farther than 9-3, while the 10-2 swing will carry more distance compared to all of them. Switch your grip after doing this. Do the swings once more but this time, allow your hands to get 1 1/2-inch choked up on the handle. Repeat this process by choking up another 1 1/2 inch from your last grip. Take notes and record the distance each ball took. Do the entire process again with your remaining two wedges. Finishing all three wedges will leave you with 27 specific shots in your logbook. Now, you can surely knock your wedge shots close to the hole.