Hitting Pitch Shots Higher and Softer will Help You Save More Pars
By Ryan Gager
Pitch shots around the green can often be the difference between saving par or dropping a shot on your scorecard. In the latest edition of Fix My Fault featuring GOLFTEC Athlete and Epson Tour player Hannah Gregg, she and fellow GOLFTEC Ambassador Fredrik Lindblom share their expertise on hitting pitch shots and provide valuable insights to help golfers get up-and-down from around the green more effectively. By understanding Hannah’s strategic approach and adopting key techniques, you too can improve your pitching game and manage your expectations for better overall scores.
Understanding the Lie and Adjusting Technique
When faced with a 40-yard pitch shot from the rough, Hannah emphasizes the importance of understanding the lie and adjusting your technique accordingly. She mentions that when there is grass behind the ball, it won’t spin as much. Therefore, it’s crucial to plan for the ball to roll out a little more upon landing on the green. Here’s a breakdown of Hannah’s technique adjustments for her stock shot from the rough:
- Neutral Setup: Keep your stance and club shaft neutral.
- Ball Position: Stand slightly closer to the ball than you would with a fairway shot.
- Weight Distribution: Shift approximately 50% of your weight onto your front side.
- Swing: Execute a smooth, neutral swing.
Hannah’s coach, Fredrik Lindblom, highlights the importance of managing expectations when hitting pitch shots. He explains that tour professionals typically hit the ball to an average of 15 feet from 40 yards in the rough, while the average amateur might hit it to 25 feet or more. Lindblom emphasizes the need to avoid getting frustrated if the ball doesn’t land close to the pin. Understanding that shots from the rough won’t spin as much as those from the fairway will help you manage your expectations and prevent unnecessary mistakes.
Check out more tips and drills on chipping and pitching the ball from Hannah and Fredrick.
Forced Carry Situations
In situations where a forced carry is required, such as when there’s a water hazard between you and the green, Hannah provides guidance on adjusting your technique for a higher shot that stops closer to the pin. Here’s how to approach these shots:
- Club Selection: Use your most lofted club to ensure maximum height.
- Ball Position: Move the ball slightly forward in your stance.
- Setup Adjustments: Stand a little further away from the ball, and lower the grip of the club to create a swallower angle of attack. Open the clubface slightly to add more loft.
- Swing: Take a slightly steeper swing to generate spin and launch the ball higher.
Remember, the objective is to carry the ball well over the hazard and onto the green, accepting that it may not stop as quickly as you hope. By focusing on hitting the ball higher and farther, you reduce the risk of hitting a short shot and landing in trouble.
Both Hannah and Fredrik emphasize the importance of managing your score and avoiding big numbers. While it’s natural to strive for birdies and pars, it’s equally crucial to play smart and minimize mistakes. Instead of taking unnecessary risks, consider the safe play from challenging positions. Even if you end up making a bogey, it’s better than attempting a risky shot that could lead to a disastrous score. Taking a putt from the back of the green and aiming for a safe two-putt can help salvage your score and prevent unnecessary damage.
For more help with your chipping or any other part of your game, find a local GOLFTEC near year and come in for a Swing Evaluation with one of our professional Coaches.
Check out other great chipping and pitching videos from GOLFTEC below, including more from Hannah and Fredrik, plus a great drill from GOLFTEC Coach Ashley Thomas.
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