Here we are going to discuss the best way to control the distance of your pitching shots into the green, to provide you with improved accuracy and help to get your ball much closer to the pin.
The best way to achieve distance control is to work on creating a wedge chart that you can keep in your pocket and take out on to the golf course, which details the distance that you hit from different positions with your backswing. Then when faced with a certain distance when out of the course, you can simply look it up on your chart and you will be able to see the club to use, where to swing this club to on your backswing and the power to execute the shot with, to achieve that particular distance.
Go to the range or practice ground with a pocket sized notebook. Imagine a clock around you with 12 o’clock up by your head and 6 o’clock down by the ball. Take your pitching wedge and get yourself into a good pitching set up. Aim the club face at your target and take up your stance. Pull your left foot directly back a few inches. This will get your left hip and side out of the way so that you can follow through down the target line. Play the ball from the middle of your stance and place 60% of your weight on your left side - this will allow you to have a steep backswing and to pick the club head up, allowing you to hit back down at the ball. Make sure you keep your hands ahead of the club at set up and during your swing and work on making a backswing where you pick the club head up. Strike through and work on holding the club off on your follow through, keeping the club head low relative to the hands, rather than releasing the club head on the follow through.
Take about a dozen balls and play shots swinging the club back to the 8 o’clock position and finishing in the 4 o’clock position. Play the shots with the same tempo and notice whether you feel this is firm, medium or soft. Take an average of how far these balls go and write down in your notebook, pitching wedge 8-4, the tempo and the distance. Play the next dozen shots swinging 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock and again average the distance and note the swing positions, tempo, and distance. Do the same for a 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock swing length.
Try this for your sand iron and 9 iron as well and this will then give you the information that you need to control your distance when playing pitch shots into the green from different distances. You now need to take this out on to the golf course with you and then play the swing length and tempo for the particular distance you have to the pin.