Short Pitch Shots Don’t Hesitate, Accelerate! 

By John Green

Do you hit over the green, leave it short, chunk, top, blade, shank, block, or pull your short pitch shots? Pitch shots 50 yards and in can be troublesome for a lot of golfers. Deceleration through impact is a major cause of a lot of these issues with these shots. Deceleration is created several different ways: the body rotation slows down as the club approaches the ball because the golfer is more interested in hitting the ball rather than swinging the club; a general lack of confidence in the shot, or just plain bad swing mechanics (which just might generate a lack of confidence).

First, lets understand how the backswing works with these pitch shots. The length of your backswing will dictate how much force/speed of the club is applied to the golf ball.

Regardless of the length of the backswing, the one thing that has to happen with the two backswings is the finish: facing the target and up on the back toe. Golfers who decelerate through impact never have a good finish. So why is the finish so important? As a general rule, a good finish meant the golfer kept rotating the body on the downswing.

To me, the key to a good finish with these pitch shots on the golf course is taking a practice swing and simply thinking about the end of the swing as pictured here. For me to get to this point, I had to make somewhat of a good turn on the downswing. Even though you may not make a full finish (arms folded and the club is behind me) like this one on a 20-yard pitch shot, it will help you to continue to rotate your body through impact. So rather than thinking about your swing on these pitch shots, think about the end: try to get to a good finish. As I always tell my students: “You have to finish your finish”!

For more help with short pitch shots, see your favorite PGA or LPGA Professional.

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