The basic pitch shot is used when you're too close to the target to hit a full shot, but not close enough to hit a simple chip shot (~20-60 yards from the pin). The pitching method gets the ball to fly higher, land softly on the green and stop quickly once it has landed.
To hit a pitch shot, choose a lob wedge, sand wedge or pitching wedge. The pitch is ideal for hitting over an obstacle such as a greenside bunker, where you don't have much room to work with between the hazard and the hole.
The setup is similar to a full shot, with these minor adjustments:
1. Choke up slightly by placing both hands lower on the grip. This will enhance your feel for the distance, bring you closer to the ball, and improve your control of the club.
2. Narrow your stance so that your feet are slightly narrower than your shoulders. The pitch doesn’t require a full body rotation, so your balance and weight transfer won’t be affected.
3. Pull your left (lead) foot back slightly to create an “open” stance. You’ll feel like you’re aiming left of the target, which in this case is good. Your swing will cut across the ball, increasing the club’s loft and getting the ball higher in the air.
4. Stand with the ball in the middle of your stance and press your hands slightly forward (toward the target) at address. Make sure that your hands are just ahead of the clubhead when contacting the ball.
5. Place some extra weight on your left side (for right handed players) for stability and keep it there through the pitch shot.
The length and pace of the swing determine for how far the ball travels. Practice your pitch shot on the range to develop a feel for attacking the pin from 100 yards and in.
If you’re having problems hitting your pitch shots solid then a quick fix can sometimes be a simple adjustment in ball position or weight distribution. As with all shots in golf, experiment with different tips and cures until you find the right combination that works best for your game.