Pitch-and-Run, Golf Term

Pitch and Run: Mastering the Essential Short Game Shot

The game of golf is as much about finesse and precision as it is about power. While hitting long drives may be exhilarating, it is the finesse shots around the green that can truly make or break a golfer's success. One such shot that every golfer should have in their arsenal is the pitch and run.

What is a Pitch and Run?

A pitch and run is a shot played with a lofted club, such as a pitching wedge or a sand wedge, that is intended to hit the ball high into the air and allow it to land softly on the green with minimal roll. Unlike a pitch shot or a flop shot that requires a steep angle of attack and a soft landing, the pitch and run shot is executed with a more shallow angle of attack and puts more emphasis on the roll after the ball lands.

When to Play a Pitch and Run?

  • When the lie is tight, and there is not much grass or rough between the ball and the green.
  • When there is not much green to work with, and trying to stop the ball quickly would be challenging.
  • When the ground is firm and fast, and the ball is likely to release after landing on the green.

How to Execute a Pitch and Run?

Here are the steps to master the pitch and run shot:

  1. Club Selection: Choose a club with enough loft to get the ball in the air, such as a pitching wedge or a sand wedge.
  2. Positioning: Set up with the ball positioned slightly back in your stance. This will help promote a slightly descending strike and minimize the loft on the shot.
  3. Short Backswing: Take a shorter backswing than a full swing, focusing on keeping the motion smooth and controlled.
  4. Accelerate Through Impact: Accelerate the clubhead through impact, striking the ball cleanly to achieve the desired trajectory and spin.
  5. Follow Through: After striking the ball, allow your arms and wrists to naturally extend through the shot, ensuring a low, controlled finish.

Key Tips for Success

  • Keep your weight slightly forward throughout the swing to promote a downward strike on the ball.
  • Maintain a steady tempo and rhythm, focusing on a smooth and controlled motion.
  • Visualize the shot, imagining the ball landing softly on the green and rolling towards the hole.
  • Practice the pitch and run shot from different lies and distances to develop versatility.

In conclusion, the pitch and run shot is a valuable skill to add to your golf game. It allows you to navigate tight lies, firm greens, and limited green space with finesse and control. By understanding the technique and practicing regularly, you can become proficient in executing this essential short game shot.